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PLAS volleyball gets underway

The last time the Pike Liberal Arts volleyball team entered the season with one or fewer seniors was six years ago.

That was also when the program was first started.

After the team lost eight seniors from a year ago to graduation and with only one returning in 2010, it makes sense why head coach Mendy Avant said she would be restoring to how she coached the first time she and the Patriots took the court a little over a half decade ago.

“We are extremely young this season,” the coach said.

“We are a much different varsity team than we were last year. But even though we don’t have a lot of girls coming back, that doesn’t mean we don’t have a good team coming back.”

There are four girls returning from a season ago: senior Madison Sanders and freshman Kaylee Taylor and Shelby Bagget and sophomore Lexie Pierce.

“We have a lot of good athletes on this year’s team,” Avant said. “And that should really help along the way.

“The more games we play, the better I think we are going to get.”

The Patriots just competed in an exhibition tournament this past weekend at Crenshaw Christian Academy.

The team came out of the tournament with a third place finish, and after seeing her team compete in a game like environment, the coach said she likes what she saw.

“Now, I think we have a long way to go, but I think this team has great chemistry,” Avant said. “And that is something that is very important.

“We got a chance to work on some of our rotations and got a chance to play with one another. But more importantly, I think it was a good opportunity to get some of the nerves out of the girl’s system,” she added.

As the only senior on the team, Sanders said she knows that she has to be the leader and that is a role she is willing to accept.

“I like that kind of a role,” she said.

“I know we got a lot of younger girls on this team and it is going to be different from how last year was with all the seniors, but I still think we have a chance to have a good season.

“This group really works well together, and I know we are going to get better as the season goes on,” she added.

The girls will take the court in the season opener on the road Thursday, as it takes on Prattville Christian Academy.

The JV ill get things started at 4:30 p.m.