As Coach Sandy Holliman enters her 14th year as Head Volleyball Coach, the Bevill State volleyball team is working hard preparing for the upcoming season. The Bears are coming off a 16-23 season and a sixth place finish in ACCC North Conference. Coach Holliman expects the returning sophomores, along with a superb group of young talented freshmen, to produce a successful season.
The team will be filled with experience on the court and depending on a group of freshmen to produce quickly. Coach Holliman?s outlook for this year?s team is promising. "The sophomores we have returning will give us a great deal of leadership this season. If the young players are able to meet the expectations I have set, we have a chance to be the top tier of the conference."
The leaders of the team will be highlighted by a select group of sophomores which must provide leadership for the young players on this team. Two defensive specialists will return for the Bears in Kayla Ross and Megan Grannan. Ross is a sophomore from Orange Park High School in Orange Park, Florida. Last season, Ross averaged 1.55 digs per game. Hailing from Lee High School in Huntsville is Megan Grannan. Playing in 114 games last season, Grannan averaged 1.59 digs per game. "Defensively, these are two of the best in conference." Holliman said. "These two girls have worked hard in the off-season to improve their game."
Also returning for the Bears is leading hitter Tara Johnson and Brooke Lee. Johnson averaged 2.33 kills per games while playing in 88 games last season. Second on the team in kills is Brooke Lee. Lee, from Addison, Ala., averaged 1.86 kills per game. "Tara and Brooke are vital to our success this season." Holliman added.
Bringing all-around talent to the court will be sophomores Kayla Woodruff and Lacey Speegle. Woodruff played in 60 games for the Bears last season averaging 1.07 kills per game. Speegle contributed in 60 games for the Bears a season ago. Speegle hails from Hatton High School in Town Creek, Ala.
The incoming class will be rich in talent and expected to contribute a great deal this season. Outside hitter Alisha McClindon will be expected to play a significant role for the Bears. "Alisha will be a great asset to our offense this season," Holliman said.
Shanna Smith, who led Addison High School in blocks the last two years, will provide defensive help this season. "We look for Shanna to do an excellent job in the middle," Holliman stated.
A freshman from Springville High School, Lauren Beason, is expected to contribute greatly on the offensive end. "Lauren will lead the offense with the experience and talent she brings to the table."
The conference will once again be competitive top to bottom. Among the teams expected to be solid are Gadsden State and Northwest-Shoals. Coach Holliman showed distinct optimism when asked about the conference. "If we are able to build on last season with the returning sophomores, mixed in with the young talent, we should be right there towards the top of the conference."
The Bears open the season on August 22nd at the Mineral Area Community College Tournament.