Fall 2022 Preview: Waynesville Volleyball

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By Chris Parker

Waynesville volleyball won 13 games last year, which was the most for the program since 2015. The Tigers will need to replace several key players to improve on that record this year.

“We’re really going to have to focus on our first touch so we can be an offensive team,” Waynesville head coach Amber Barkley said. “We lose several key positions upon graduation, so we’re trying to build the right training for that to happen.”

The Tigers are only returning one player who had more than 22 eliminations last year, but that player is one of the Ozark Conference’s most imposing front row players in Breona Hurd. Hurd, a committed basketball player from the University of Virginia, led the team with 219 eliminations before earning an all-conference honorable mention last year.

“Obviously Bre is an athletic kid. Basketball and volleyball both use quick movements, require you to be able to move laterally and use teamwork. She works on all those skills with us and as she travels the country playing basketball,” Barkley said. “Her size is a huge asset. She’s a big block, has a powerful swing, and can change the momentum of anyone. what a match. Even though she’s a big kid, she has really soft hands that most people don’t expect.

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She led the Tigers in blocks with 28 last year.

Senior Kesare Garcia and junior Torrey McCall are the only other returning college players for Waynesville.

Garcia had 178 digs and 363 service receptions last year.

“She (Garcia) contributed as a defensive specialist last season,” Barkley said. “She will be expected to carry a lot of the defensive and serving pressure as a libero. She is a child full of energy who will bring leadership to a younger and inexperienced team.

McCall wrote last year after seeing action in 60 of 101 sets.

“She (McCall) could play on the right or on the outside this year depending on what we need,” Barkley said. “She’s a versatile kid who will do whatever is asked and whatever we need to help the team succeed.”

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There will be several new players at the varsity level, but not Barkley’s system, as several junior varsity players will step up this year.

“I think our greatest strength will be teamwork,” Barkley said. “Most of the girls played for me last year and know what to expect. We will have to be a balanced team and be able to distribute the ball between our hitters and work together to succeed. »

Waynesville travels to Washington for a jamboree Aug. 23 before opening the regular season Aug. 25 at home against Jefferson City.

“The expectation is to build on last season,” Barkley said. “I want to continue to improve and grow the Waynesville volleyball program through consistency, hard work and commitment to each other and the goals we have set for ourselves.”

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