CRESTVIEW — Kathy Combest, entering her third season as Crestview High School’s volleyball coach, believes the Bulldogs could make the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
"We are getting close," she said. "That's my goal ...”
Combest — who has been working hard to get the team to the playoffs — thinks the only thing standing between the Bulldogs and the playoffs is a matter of the players believing they can win.
In the meantime, the girls are getting stronger.
"They are stronger because of the time they've spent in the weight room,” Combest said. “The weight room has changed their bodies. They hit the ball so much harder and they jump higher."
A Crestview team of juniors and seniors welcomes freshmen Marisa Rogers and Kierra Potts, whom Combest thinks could have an immediate impact on the team.
"We have two freshmen that are doing an excellent job for us," she said. "Normally you don't have that in a freshman, but you do with these two."
Seniors Brittany Pase and Jasmine Middleton are expected to be the big outside hitters. Nicole LeFevre is another outside hitter, and Molly Kitchen will split time as a hitter and setter.
Junior Molly Woodward will be at the libero position; Kristin Bufkin will be available for libero as well when she's not in her spot as a defensive specialist. Macie Adams is another defensive specialist.
Crestview plays in the new District 1-7A and will be joined by Fort Walton Beach, Navarre, Niceville and Tate. And the Bulldogs will host the district tournament Oct. 21-24.
Combest said she is ready for the Bulldogs to take the district by storm.
"I don't want to sneak in on them," she said. "I want to beat them because we worked hard, we are coming around and we are getting this program together. You don't worry about who you are playing.
"You take every ball and you try to put it down. And every ball that comes your way, you try to put it up and make a play. In the end, if you've done that, the winning will take care of itself."
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.