Shelby County Volleyball 2007 preview

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The 2007 Shelby County volleyball season gets underway this week and several teams are looking to make at a run at the state championship.

There are also new faces in new places, including Kim Kiel taking over for Tammy Richardson at Pelham High School and Paula Dill at Spain Park.

Here is a comprehensive preview of the upcoming season:

Oak Mountain

Class 6A, Area 11

Head coach: Emily Whitehead

ROSTER: Christen Clements, Katey Anderson, Caylee Griner, Kelsey Risher, Lora Goss, Liz Henderson, Caitlin Perry, Devin VonPingel, Jessica Cooley, Sarah Morton, Emee Barrow and Kimmie Muse.

Season Outlook: Just as in football, the Eagles’ volleyball team plays in the toughest region in the state. Oak Mountain returns four starters from a team that took an early exit in the area tournament last year. Look for the Eagles to be in the mix in the area finals this season.

Pelham

Class 6A, Area 10

Head coach: Kim Kiel

ROSTER: Kelly Pybas, Whitney Billings, Jasmine Clark, Danielle Gissendanner, Whitney Hudson, Amanda Rowland, Shalita Clark, Shalita Kashuba, Ali Slaughter and Lindsey Young.

Season Outlook: Kim Kiel takes over one of the best volleyball programs in the state and she has a team full of talent to back that up. Whitney Billings is as good as they come and the 6-foot-3 star should have the Panthers in contention for a state title once again.

Spain Park

Class 6A, Area 11

Head coach: Paula Dill

ROSTER: Claire Majors, Haley Hensley, Meredith Jones, Meredith Filippini, Liz Jones, Katie Best, Gabby Allen, Paige Cheney, Kristen Gue, Kelsey Williams, Kendall Carlis, Allie O’Neil, Emily McDougal, Mallory Morgan and Patricia Nevins.

Season Outlook: Paula Dill joins the Jaguars this season and the new head coach said she plans to be at Spain Park for a while. The Jaguars have only seniors on a young team, but they’re learning to play as a team and they are also expecting to win.

Thompson

Class 6A, Area 10

Head coach: Carla Ragland

ROSTER: Anna Cobb, Kristen Patete, Lainie Hoiland, Lauren Sprouse, Michele Simmons, Rebekah Raymond, Samantha Gentile, Stephanie Giddens and Kirby Mitchell.

Season Outlook: The Warriors lost to the eventual champion Huntsville High in the sub-state last year and then lost six seniors to graduation. Thompson is young and small, but they are gritty and determined, as well.

Briarwood

Class 5A, Area 8

Head coach: Robbie Wilson

ROSTER: Sara Kate Bracewell, Whitney Caldwell, Kate Carter, Amy Hale, Julia Hoke, Haley Johnson, Stephanie McKinney, Suzanna McKinney, Lauren Parks, Elizabeth Reiser, Leah Scroggins, Christie Taylor and Hannah Ward.

Season Outlook: The Lions will be young this season and the loss of Haley Johnson to an ACL injury will not help. Briarwood has some of the best attackers in the state and will count on Stephanie McKinney and Leah Scroggins to lead the charge.

Chelsea

Class 5A, Area 6

Head coach: Donnie Teague

ROSTER: Emily Handley, Mieke Groothuizen, Braden Thacker, Chyna Wing, Michele Kamppinen, Kristin Handley, Jessica Colyer, Blair Scott, Rebecca Simpson and Kristen King.

Season Outlook: The Hornets return all but one senior from last year and head coach Donnie Teague is expecting big things. If Chelsea can weather the area schedule, the playoffs are all but assured.

Shelby County

Class 5A, Area 6

Head coach: Jamie Creekmore

ROSTER: Savannah Griffin, Holli McNeill, Devin Vansant, Brook Phillips, Meagan Billingsley, Danitra Lee, Kayla Williams, Christine Mallory, Sam Adams, Kira Chaudhry, Whitley Green, Adrienne Largin, Taylor Shaw, Alysia Perkins, Aundi Corley and Trayna Thompson.

Season Outlook: The Wildcats will have numbers on their side this season as Shelby County will have 16 players on the roster. If the area schedule doesn’t knock them down, the state tournament is not out of the question.

Calera

Class 3A, Area 7

Head coach: Jan Holcomb

ROSTER: Julia Alexander, Lauren Parker, Juanna Nixon, Jasmin Holloway, Katelyn Dean, Elise Mikell, Jenia Parker, La’Jacqueline Morgan, Kawanna Brickler and Lyssa Willingham.

Season Outlook: The Eagles have three seniors on this year’s team, along with three juniors. Expect big things from middle hitter Jasmin Holloway and sophomore Katelyn Dean while senior Lauren Parker should be

the leader of the squad.

Indian Springs

Class 3A, Area 7

Head coach: Pam Abernathy

ROSTER: Jillian Theibert, Marketa Novak, Megan Eskridge, Rebecca Barr, Kari Todd, Tullia Ruston, Andrea Mayo and Lizzie Barr.

Season Outlook: The Indian Springs volleyball team has a thin roster this season with only eight players, but Pam Abernathy’s Class 3A squad is determined to have a breakout season and make a run at not only the area championship, but the region championship, as well.

Montevallo

Class 3A, Area 6

Head coach: Tena Niven

ROSTER: Jordan Archer, Brittani Landers, Kayla Landefeld, Rebecca Gewalt, Brittany Bristow, Anna Nix, Sequoia Peeples, Kylie Stansell, Haley Anderson, Laci Hochstrasser, Kelli Ray, Hope Anderson, Cloe Jones, Brianna Brown and Jira King.

Season Outlook: The Bulldogs were the Southern Division County champions, area champions and made it all the way to the Sweet 16 last season and head coach Tena Niven is wanting and expecting more this season. This squad has more depth than last season, which means the sky is the limit for the Bulldogs.

Vincent

Class 2A, Area 7

Head coach: Stephanie Ledlow

ROSTER: Erika Carlisle, Audryana Kelley, Shavon Keller, Tamara Riggins, Latoya Traylor, Randee Isbell, Amber Shaw, Michele Brasher, Letha Burns and Tiffany Ellis.

Season Outlook: Vincent got off to a slow start last season but the Yellow Jackets have most starters back. Although several players quit during the offseason, the Yellow Jackets return Erika Carlisle, Shavon Keller and Amber Shaw. Add in another senior who is a newcomer and Vincent should have a good chance at winning the area.

Cornerstone

AISA Class 1A,

East Area 1

Head coach: Jennifer Snyder

ROSTER: Ashley Collins, Jessica Hall, Aubri Smith, Chelsey Dunnaway, Bethany Webb, Kailey Goodwin, Rebecca George, Kallen Morrison, Paige Pazsak, Olivia Perry, Julie Hall, Rachel Stefkovich, Ashtyn Armstrong, Ashley Carden, Shawna Decker, Emma Garner, Hailey Hall and Hollie Odgers.

Season Outlook: There are only four seniors playing for the Chargers this season and no juniors, which means many underclassmen will see playing time this season. Cornerstone will have to deal with a learning curve, but could surprise many teams with its solid youth.

Kingwood

AISA Class 2A,

West Area 3

Head coach: John Jones

ROSTER: Ali Bailey, Serina Bourassa, Bailey Daniel, Rachel Holsombeck, Whitney Jones, Heather Matzke, Millie Opper, Jade Peoples, Lauren Rozof, Kaytlyn Thorson and Ashlee Walters.

Season Outlook: Kingwood returns only two seniors to this year’s squad, which doesn’t bode well in Class 2A, West Area 3. With three juniors and three sophomores, the Lions should get plenty of the underclassmen plenty of playing time. But if one thing is for certain it is you can never count the Lions out.

Shelby Academy

No classification

Head coach: Karri Dixon

ROSTER: Chandler Davenport, Savannah Upton, Christina Daley, Maryanne Lee, Kimbrell Lee, Sarah Fowler, Taylor Miller, Jackie O’Brien, Courtney Baugh, Karli Tyson and Rebekah Fowler.

Season Outlook: The Shelby Academy Raiders begin volleyball play for the first time in school history and Karri Dixon, former Kingwood Christian assistant, has been chosen to lead the squad in its inaugural season. With Taylor Miller being the only player with game-time experience, the Raiders must learn on the fly or sink while trying. With Kimbrell Lee being the lone senior, the Raiders will be in perfect position this year to start building for the future, even though Dixon expects to start winning immediately. The Raiders will not be available for classification until next season