MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon volleyball team raised its expectations last season with the first 20-win season since 2005.
With a 21-12 overall record and an 11-3 conference record, the Hawks finished second in the West Division of the USA South Athletic Conference. Huntingdon enters this season as the No. 2 team in the West Division preseason poll.
Huntingdon opens the season this weekend in the Maryville College Tournament on Friday and Saturday. The Hawks play Washington and Lee on Friday at 4 p.m. and will play Hanover (11:15 a.m.) and Centre (3:45 p.m.) on Saturday. All times are Central.
Head Coach Latonia Brady on entering the season as the No. 2 team in the West Division: "This year we are ranked No. 2, so now the respect is there. But that means we can't just maintain the level we were at last season, we have to make a huge leap forward. The traditionally strong teams in our division are loaded and I am anticipating a battle in every match we play.
"There have been several new coaching hires across the conference, so there are a lot of fresh new faces and ideas. We are going to have to be focused on the details every day. The little details are the reason we fell short of our goal last season. Our goal is to battle these first few weekends and prepare ourselves for USA South competition."
Brady on the team's emerging leaders: "April Reese, Ashley Murphy, Amy Tyma, Taylor Wright and Lexie DeVuyst are emerging as leaders this season. April has become an amazing selfless leader and handles the behind the scenes work that no one really sees. Ashley had a fantastic spring season of training and is faster to the ball and confident in the placement of her sets.
"Amy has always been a leader, just by her skill set and ability to dominate a game. But her work ethic and the time she put in this summer has elevated her game to a whole new level. Taylor is the kind of athlete every coach roots for to succeed and I know this is going to be her year. Lexie has been patiently waiting for her time to shine in the libero position and it's here with opening weekend."
Brady on playing in the Maryville College Tournament to open the season: "This weekend is going to be tough. Our program has reached the point, where in order to continue to grow we need to face tough competition right off the bat. We will face three quality opponents and this will definitely help us see where we line up now and where we need to fight to be in a few weeks."