By Chris Parker
Reeds Spring volleyball has finished .500 or better in four consecutive seasons. The Lady Wolves have all the pieces in place to extend that streak to five.
Six-rotation senior Kennedy Brown returns after leading Reeds Spring in kills (234) and serve receptions (317) last year.
“She constantly wants to improve and is a very coachable player. She consistently asks for feedback to improve her technique and apply it,” Reeds Spring head coach Addison Berry said. “She was a captain last year as a junior and our expectations for her is to lead her team alongside her fellow seniors and to set the tone for how this team will work together to be successful.”
One of those fellow seniors is Riley Sadler. Sadler played in all but one set last year and led the team in blocks with 12. She will play middle.
“Riley is a very consistent player and a very consistent blocker, and we are hoping she can continue to take pressure off our defense as well as work toward taking pressure off our pin hitters by being a consistent threat in the middle as a hitter,” Berry said.
Junior Reece Hopper and sophomore Shelby Evans return after seeing limited varsity action last year. Hopper will serve in a utility role while Evans will be an outside and middle.
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“(Hopper) is a very versatile player who is capable of playing and being successful in any position I put her in,” Berry said. “Evans came in at the end of the season as a freshman and helped us out a lot. She will be an aggressive outside/middle hitter for us this year.”
Reeds Spring will be developing new setters this year after graduating all but 18 of 775 assists from last year. Those setters will be senior Abbey Moscher and junior Hannah Rogers. Neeley Hime will play defensive specialist in her junior season. Fellow junior Haley Watson will bid for varsity time as a versatile hitter.
The talent is evident for Reeds Spring volleyball, but the success of this season will be determined by how well players respond to new responsibility.
“Our biggest strength is that we are a talented group that still has a want and a need to learn and grow. Our girls are very flexible and want to better themselves both as individuals and as a team,” Berry said. “This is a very new and different group than last year. We have a lot of girls who are going to have a lot of new responsibilities heading into this season. Consistency is something we are constantly working as well as being adaptable to make sure we are giving ourselves the best chance as a team.”
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Reeds Spring will travel to Willard on Aug. 23 for a jamboree with the host Tigers, Springfield Catholic and El Dorado Springs. The Lady Wolves will open the regular season on Aug. 27 at the Branson tournament.
“Overall expectations for this team are to obviously win games,” Berry said. “We’d really like to push these girls to have a winning season, as well as statically we want our girls to set goals that want to achieve during the season.”