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Volleyball team prepares for growing year

 

Brian O’Connor

Senior Calleigh Miller serves a volley ball Monday during practice at Wrangell High School. Miller is one of three seniors expected to fill a leadership role vacated by six athletes who graduated earlier this year.

The Lady Wolves varsity volleyball team graduated six seniors last year, leaving something of a hole for senior leadership, coaches said.

If you ask head coach Jessica Whitaker, this year’s seniors are up to the task.

“We have three seniors that are playing very well,” she said. “They’ve finally blossomed.”

Seniors McKenna Harding, Erica Smith and Calleigh Miller will have their work cut out for them this season, she said. Whitaker said she’d look to Smith in particular.

“She shows a lot of good leadership skills and makes good passes,” she said.

The team isn’t without resources for victory, Whitaker said.

“We have a few girls working toward the front row,” she said. “We hope to have them ready by the time the season starts. Varsity has some strong hitters, and it took them four years to get there.”

In the meantime, both the varsity and junior varsity teams are focused on building the fundamentals, said JV coach Lisa Nikodym.

“We’ve got a young team, a young group,” she said. “Right now we’re focused on basic skills.”

The Lady Wolves’ season starts this weekend in Wrangell at the Wrangell volleyball jamboree, which will feature six teams from Southeast. The biggest rivalry they face is Craig.

“It’s very exciting,” she said.

The team also tentatively plans an alumni game over the Thanksgiving holiday.

 

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