After posting their most successful season in 22 years, this year's Lady Eagles volleyball team looks equally promising.
"Fundamentally, this is the most sound group I've ever coached.
Ever," said Krista Carsten, who took over as head coach in 2011. Last year the girls played to a 23-5 overall, 11-0 Western Slope conference record and the conference title, and finished in fourth place at the state 2A tournament.
The team lost two starters, but remaining varsity players Carson Pipher, Morgan Hartigan, Claire Tracy, Easton Hartigan, Taylor Plymale and Taylor Carsten all return to the court following a busy summer tournament schedule. Last season, the Hartigans and Carsten were named all-conference honorable mention, and Pipher made all-conference first team.
Coach Carsten didn't have to dig too deeply to find replacement talent. Heading into last Saturday's Montrose Scrimmage Tournament, seniors Susan Nieman and Shylar Wilson were being put through a tough series of drills. Sophomores Ashley Van Vleet and Jessie Holt were testing their skills at the net.
This year's sophomore class, which includes Van Vleet, Holt and Carsten, also includes Bailee Campbell, Alyssa Carter, Chey Christian, Emily Clawson, Patience Davis and Deon Jensen. Incoming freshmen include Felicity Auden, McKenna Hartigan, Brittany Kendall, Emily Pieper, Kelsey Stroud, Macy O'Rourke and Brianna Van Vleet.
These girls were all coached in eighth grade by Lorie Marek and Tonya Pipher, said Carsten. "That makes my job easier."
Amy (Lacy) Bell and Kriss Allen return as assistant coaches.
Paonia opens the season this Thursday at Cedaredge. Varsity action begins at 6 p.m. On Tuesday, Sept. 3, the rivalry between Paonia and Delta continues when Paonia hosts the 4A Lady Panthers beginning at 6 p.m. Last year, Carsten served six aces in 19 serves in Paonia's surprise 3-2 win over Delta.
Paonia will play its first league game on Friday, Sept. 13, against Vail Mountain.blog comments powered by Disqus