CRESTVIEW — Expectations are high for Crestview High School's volleyball team, which opens the season Monday at Milton. Crestview hosts Choctaw in the home opener at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Coming off their first playoff appearance since 2004, the Bulldogs are confident.
“We are not dropping our goals,” Coach Kathy Combest said. “Our motto is, ‘One team, one goal.’ We want everybody to have the same goal to win district and go further in the playoffs.”
The team's seniors have bought into the plan.
“We are going to the playoffs again,” Molly Kitchen said.
When asked about beating District 1-7A rival and nemesis, Kitchen replied, “That’s on our to do list.”
Nichole LeFevre was even more specific in what she wanted to accomplish in her senior season.
“I want (us) to go to the playoffs,” she said. “I want to be district champs. I believe we can do it.
“We’ve got the team together this summer and I see it coming 100 percent.”
The Bulldogs have a mix of six seniors and young talent.
Combest, now in her fourth year coaching the team, thinks this group could be her best Crestview team yet.
“I see it as a more rounded volleyball team,” she said. “Everybody can do something.
“They play well together. There is a lot of volleyball experience out there.”
Macie Adams and Baylee Estep join Kitchen and LeFevre as the most experienced members of the senior class.
Combest said the senior class knows what she wants.
“They understand what’s expected of them,” she said. “They understand that we are going to work hard. You don’t have to preach that all the time.
“They are good leaders.”
Combest sees Crestview’s District 1-7A as being a tossup among any number of teams. Niceville is the defending champions, but Combest thinks the Bulldogs and Fort Walton Beach can challenge the Eagles. And she said Navarre and Tate are capable of making some noise in the district as well.
Win or lose though Combest will be happy if she sees the desire to win from her team knowing that with the right desire winning will come.
“A lot of people say that winning is everything, but I don’t think winning is everything,” she said. “I think wanting to win is everything. That’s hard in my book.
“You always want to win when you step into any event.”