Even before the start of school you can hear the squeak of sneakers on the gym floor as the BCHS Lady Wildcat volleyball team gets ready for the start of its season on Aug. 28 versus Oakleaf.
The Lady Cats are digging, spiking and setting and getting used to working together as a team after the roster was picked by Coach Heather Sulkowski earlier this month. Sulkowski is encouraged by what she has seen so far.
“We have a very well-rounded team this season and our hitters are doing very well so we should have more fire power,” said Sulkowski.
One of the areas where they have needed improvement over last year is serving and they have been trying to rectify that.
“We have worked very hard on our serving, and trying to get them to serve more aggressively,” commented Sulkowski, “and over the summer we have had four players develop a consistent jump serve. Callie Wheeler, Kayla Holland, Malory Osteen and newcomer freshman Ashton Alford have all mastered the jump serve to some degree.”
The Cats return left and right side hitters Kayla Holland, Callie Wheeler and Brooke Roberts. Sulkowski is relying on Holland for team leadership.
Senior Reagan McKendree is back setting for the Cats after taking a year off for knee surgery and is showing little effects from the injury.
Malory Osteen and Candace Clack will be playing middle this year and they have both worked very hard and improved a great deal over the summer. “We look for them to be a big part of our offense this year,” said Sulkowski.
Sulkowski is looking for an improved offense this season and knows that she will need to put points on the board, particularly against powerhouses Bishop Kenny and Bartram Trail.
Kenny is the toughest district rival for BCHS, while the Lady Bears of Bartram Trail are a 6A school who made the playoffs last season. Both teams only lost two starters from last season and look to be formidable.
The varsity roster includes Kayla Holland, Brooke Roberts, Reagan McKendree, Candace Clack, Cheyenne Whitton, Malory Osteen, Callie Wheeler, Taylor Hodges, Taylor Hancock, Ashton Alford, Rebekah Long while the junior varsity is made up of Hannah Nowlen, Crysta Hilton, Harley Jones, Alexis Wendel, Callie Elledge, Savannah Cox, Brook Chambers, Ashley Thompson, Tristan Lauramore, Kate Whitehead, Taylor Bloxham and Abby Rice
The Cats have a pre-season tournament at Paxon on Aug. 25 and host the Oakleaf Knights at 5:30 and 6:30 on Aug. 28 in the season opener.