After experiencing big improvement under new head coach Kendal Roberts in 2012, the Lady Bulldogs volleyball team is hoping to improve on its record again this fall.
Hotchkiss finished just below the middle of the pack in 2012 Western Slope League standings with an 8-13 overall, 4-6 league record.
In her first season as head coach, Roberts had to work from the ground up to bring the team to that level. Two seasons ago, the team won only three games.
"We have the talent to (have a winning record); that's my goal," said Roberts during practice last week. "We should do better than last year."
That talent includes outside hitter Daryl Batt, a club player who can hold her own regardless of where she's playing on the court. Named to the all-conference first team in 2012, Batt, along with juniors Brielle Palmer and Katie Richards, bring much-needed height to the net.
Palmer and Richards will spend time at middle hitter, and Richards may play at outside hitter.
Chase Bizer looks tiny, but she's a big middle/right hitter, said Roberts, who sees the sophomore as a key player in her plan. "She's good everywhere."
Junior Arial Duncan and senior Jessie Violett return as setters.
Also returning are Mandi Chermak, Shianne Wright, Kelli Buhrdorf and Mariana Comacho.
While player numbers are down this year, 31 players, including seven returning varsity members and seven incoming freshmen, is a more manageable number for Roberts and her coaching staff.
This year's assistants are Jenna Zeldenthuis (JV) and Anna Shaklee (C-team). Both are HHS alumni and former volleyball players.
Hotchkiss will be at home for the first week of competition, starting with North Park this Friday at 4 p.m. (All varsity games are preceded by C-team and JV games.) Roberts was glad to see that North Park has to come here this year. "We don't have to go there," said Roberts of the six-hour bus ride, "And that's good."
Hotchkiss hosts Cedaredge (3A WSL) on Sept. 3.blog comments powered by Disqus