Sunday, August 19, 2012

Preseason H.S. Volleyball Elite 8

The high school volleyball season begins today. Here are my picks for the Elite 8 teams in West Tennessee:

1. Chester County – The Eaglettes will tough this year with three key returners. Cynthia Beene is one of the top defenders in the area, Jana Frye is experienced at setter and Annsley Poston really came on as a hitter last season. Chester County made its first-ever trip to state last year and has the potential to make another trip this year.

2. TCA –The Lady Lions finished fourth in Class A last year. TCA loses a key piece of that team in setter Kara Crenshaw, but the Lady Lions should be able to rebound. Hannah Grider, Peyton Wright and Clare Taylor return to the front line as the go-to hitters.

3. USJ – The Lady Bruins are under Kimberly McNeal for a second season, and USj should be much improved. USJ will miss the hitting of Zuzanna Wojtas, but Andrea Arreaza and Sally Sikes should step right in for the kills.

4. South Side – The Lady Hawks have one of the top setter-hitter combinations in Jessica Neff and Stephanie Tipler. Tommy Dean always has South Side ready to play especially when the postseason gets here.

5. Crockett County – The Lady Cavaliers will be a scrappy team this season with no dominating hitter. Crockett County has boasted the last three Jackson Sun Hitter of the Year in Jasmine Johnson, Anna Rogers and Brandi Massey. Setter Savannah Pillow will be the key to the success.

6. Madison – The Lady Mustangs return just two starters off last year’s team in hitters Amelia McLemore and Edie Buchanan. Madison should improve as the season progresses with experience.

7. Milan – The Lady Bulldogs continue to improve and should battle for the No. 1 seed in the District 13-AA tournament. Milan will miss the hitting of Cassidy Sheppard, but Morgan King and Binetou Ndiaye should pick up some of the slack. Caitlyn Brown will distribute the ball at setter.

8. Lexington – Lexington was hit hard this season by graduation and injuries. Andrea Moffitt will be key on the attack with Kellie Brooke Hayes as the setter. The Lady Tigers will be another team that improves as the season progress and will look to be in top form come postseason.

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