CRESTVIEW — Crestview High School's volleyball team — which last year made its first playoff appearance since 2004 — will rely on youthful experience as the Bulldogs seek more success.
It has been a busy summer for a Bulldog team that has appeared in several tournaments, but Coach Kathy Combest still isn’t sure how the team will come together.
“I haven’t had my seniors all summer,” she said. “All five have been in class. We have one senior, Nichole LeFevre, that has played with us all year.
“The sophomores are kind of leading the show right now. Of course, we started three freshmen last year: Marissa (Rogers), Kierra Potts and Cailey Ness. That says we are building on youth.”
Seniors' absence throughout the summer allowed Combest to pull junior varsity players up to the varsity to experience what their future will hold. At times, Combest even played the Bulldog junior varsity against varsity teams.
Combest — entering her fourth season as the Bulldog coach — isn’t too concerned about court time her seniors missed. But there is one disadvantage in not having the seniors around throughout the summer.
“I haven’t seen them all together yet,” she said. “We’ve missed two or three every time (they’ve played). I just want to see how they mesh.
“Volleyball is a little different (than other sports) because you have to trust that person behind you; that they are going to get the tip. Or you have to trust that person; when they call it, they are going to get it. So practicing together should give you that mesh.”
The Bulldogs will continue to work out in preparation for the Aug. 4 start of preseason practice.
“We are going to work on the fundamentals individually,” Combest said. “We are going to work on everything individually before we come together as a team, so we will do a lot of drills.
“We are getting our skills better and getting our movement better. When we start playing together we will know how to play with each other.”
Randy Dickson is the Crestview News Bulletin’s sports editor. Email him at email@example.com, tweet him @BigRandle, or call 682-6524.