Pictured is the 2012 Holcomb High School volleyball team. Pictured left to right (front row): Kaitlyn Barnes, Taryn Trowbridge, Lindsey Busby, Hannah Spencer, Bryttanee Davis, Alexis Lowe, Katelyn White, Ashlynn Mosby, Alexis Voyles and Brandee Pritchett; (back row): Kelsey Barnes, Morgan Acup, Candace Baysinger, Lyndi Jones, Ashley Busby, Alex Glover, Yulissa Mendoza, Ashlyn Bridges, Breane Vanvickle, Alexis Swift, Chelse Wallace and head coach Zach McDaniel. Not pictured: Gabby Jacques and Cheyenne Long.
"I'm more excited this season," McDaniel said. "I know what to expect this season. This year I've got 23 girls trying out. Last year I had 14. We are able to do more strategy-wise this season and there are more position battles. Last year it was kind of just given who was going to play where. Now, this year, they have to compete for a starting position and for varsity or junior varsity. We will have more competition this season."
Holcomb's varsity volleyball team finished 17-12-3 last season after going 10-18 in the 2010 season. Holcomb has six upperclassmen on its 2012 roster.
"We've got four seniors and two juniors," McDaniel said. "We don't have a great deal of upperclassmen, but every upperclassman I have is definitely a leader."
Holcomb will open its season Aug. 24 when it hosts Twin Rivers in a non-conference game.
"I know they are really good because we saw them at a Cape Girardeau tournament," senior Candace Baysinger said. "I think they will be a really good team. I hope we win. This is my last year and I want to make it worth it. I want to do it. "
Holcomb has spent most of the week getting ready for the start of its season. Holcomb has held practice every weekday since Aug. 6 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
"Our practices have been real good this year," Holcomb senior setter Morgan Acup said. "We have really good chemistry this year in practice and things are going pretty well."
Holcomb competes in the 9-team Tri-County Conference with Cooter, North Pemiscot, Southland, Clarkton, Gideon, Campbell, Delta C-7 and Risco. Traditional powerhouse Gideon is the defending Tri-County Conference Tournament champion.
"Last year it was Gideon, Cooter and Holcomb," McDaniel said of the Tri-County Conference. "I expect it to be the same this year. I don't know what every team has lost and gained, but I think those will still be the three big teams. However, you cannot ever overlook any team in our conference. There wasn't any easy games last season."
Holcomb senior defensive specialist Brytannee Davis is already anticipating head-to-head battles with two conference foes.
"Gideon and Cooter," Davis said. "They always beat us and I want to beat them this year."
Holcomb will compete in the Tri-County Conference Tournament at Clarkton Oct. 9-12. It will also play in the SEMO Spike Tournament in Cape Girardeau, Mo., Sept. 7-8 and the 16-team Gideon Tournament Sept. 20-22.
"We don't have a great deal of height," Holcomb senior middle hitter Ashley Busby said. "We have a freshman playing up as a middle hitter and I hit middle last season. We have talent so I think we can make it work. We have to work together and play as a team whether we win or lose."
Holcomb's Class 1 district tournament will begin on Oct. 22. The Missouri High School Activities Association has yet to announce district assignments and classifications for the 2012 season.
"I really like the support our sports get here at Holcomb," McDaniel said of the 2011-2012 school year. "Last year we played in a conference championship game in every sport. Our community was definitely behind us 100 percent on that."
2012 Holcomb Volleyball Season
|8/24||Twin Rivers||Home||6 p.m.|
|8/31||Delta C-7||Away||6 p.m.|
|9/7||SEMO Tournament||Cape Girardeau||TBA|
|9/8||SEMO Tournament||Cape Girardeau||TBA|
|9/28||Bell City||Home||6 p.m.|
|10/1||South Pemiscot||Away||6 p.m.|
|10/2||North Pemiscot||Home||6 p.m.|
|10/22||Start of District||TBA||TBA|