With volleyball season fast approaching, programs in South Denton County are gearing up for what promises to be another great year on the courts.
Six local programs have qualified for the playoffs in 2021, and this season looks to be just as strong, if not better.
Marcus’ volleyball team concluded 2021 with an overall record of 31-8 and a trip to the regional round of the playoffs.
Coach Lindsey Petzold will take the helm of the Lady Marauders this coming season and, having just been hired in June, said she is still evaluating things.
“I think we have a ton of potential, but we’ll need multiple players to step in and fill the big shoes left by the 10 senior graduates,” Petzold said. “We are going to compete at a high level every day, and we have a lot of pre-district games to be able to figure out who our starters are, what our strengths are and how we can continue to improve.
“We will undoubtedly be competing for a playoff spot in one of the best districts in the state, but in our district that means playing at a high level in every game.”
The main Lady Marauders returns include Maggie Cox, Lexi Godbey, Aubrey Bellus and Rachel Sturton.
Petzold said there will be a few changes this year, which mostly revolve around staff placement.
“We will have several new faces on the pitch this season,” Petzold said. “I hope to step up our outside attack and distribute the ball better. We have the potential to run a 5-1, but we will use our pre-district games to figure that out.
Petzold said several factors will go into whether or not Marcus has a successful season in 2022.
“To make the playoffs, we’re going to have to be consistent every time we step onto the court,” Petzold said. “We’ll have to find ways to score against big blocking teams and be really good at serving and passing. We are going to face very solid teams, so that means staying on course and finding a way to score even when things are not going our way. We will need our hitters to step up and play big.
At Flower Mound, trainer Jamie Siegel also said she was optimistic for 2022.
“I’m excited for this upcoming season,” said Siegel. “It’s gonna be fun.”
Siegel expects his impact players to be Cat Young, Bri Watson, Audrey Jackson, Caroline Tredwell and Liz Goodspeed this year.
Flower Mound lost in the bi-district round last season and will be without the services of Bella Ortiz, Elaina Amador, Gabby Walker, Megan Farris, Avery Miller and McKenzie Schultz.
But Siegel said that sort of thing was to be expected.
“Every year you lose a group because of graduation…and these young women left their mark on the program,” Siegel said. “This year’s squad will be a different style with the personnel we will have.”
Siegel said his district was once again one of the most competitive in the state and said improving on last season’s efforts would take the right mindset.
“It’s going to take an attitude of never settling, and we’ll have to work for everything,” Siegel said.
In Denton, Guyer’s volleyball coach Leslie Jackson said her team is looking to win another district championship in 2022, as the Lady Wildcats won the title 5-6A last season.
“We have a great group of girls coming back for the upcoming season,” Jackson said. “They’ve done a great job this offseason working and growing together. We look forward to continuing to improve every day we step into the gym.
Jackson said she expects big years from a number of players, including Kyndal Stowers, Lauren Schneider, Ava Houser and Jordyn Tynsky.
“We’ve lost a great group of seniors, but we have great athletes coming up who are hungry and ready to compete,” Jackson said.
Guyer finished 21-11 last season and fired five starters, and Jackson is hopeful about his teams’ chances in 2022.
“Anything is possible in volleyball,” Jackson said. “We are focused on Guyer volleyball and improving every day in order to be the best, most competitive team possible.”
Further to Justin, the North West volleyball team reached the regional round last season, and coach Jennifer Chandler said she believes her team is capable of doing even more this season. .
“Our players have worked so hard in the offseason to prepare for the fall,” Chandler said. “Our senior leadership has been strong and inclusive of our young athletes. We have huge returning pieces who have done an exceptional job of setting the standard for our program with their character and integrity.
We have been focused on developing our outside hitting group because we graduated three outside hitters last season. We also spent a lot of time working on our service reception because we also graduated as Libero.
And Chandler also picks up a wealth of talent.
“We’re firing our two middle tackles, Lydia Seymour and Hannah Clear, who are three- and four-year varsity starters,” Chandler said. “Both are committed to playing at the next level and have been intentional with their positive energy and leadership throughout their careers. last year as an extra block and also generated offense for us as a hitter.
We have a talented utility player, Madison Scrivner, who can play on the road as well as play for us, so it will be fun to see where her versatility best suits our team.
Chandler expects Azle and Aledo to be among Northwest’s toughest opponents this season, and says to make another long playoff run Northwest will need to focus on three areas.
“It will be necessary to pass well in reception to send the ball to our experienced hitters in the middle and on the right side, be aggressive defensively so that we can make the transition between the middle and the right side, then allow our outside hitter to develop and to finding the right combination for our team,” Chandler said. “I expect this team to have great chemistry because this group has shown their identity of being selfless and team first. They’re so fun as people first, but really fun to train.
For Coram Deo Academy, the 2022 volleyball season will see new faces in addition to veterans.
“I’m new to CAM this season and very excited about our program this year,” said coach Jeff Cornell. “I believe we will be competitive with an opportunity to make some noise in the playoffs.”
Cornell will attempt to do so with such notable players as Jordan Juergens, Maddie Murphy, Nicole Rhone and Lauren Joseph.
Cornell expects both Grapevine Faith and Legacy Christian to be great in 2021 and said his approach to coaching this year’s team is three-pronged.
“This season will be very defensively focused with good blocking and scrappy play,” Cornell said.
To capture one of the district’s four playoff spots this season, Cornell said his team will have to bond.
“We need to stay healthy and really freeze as a unit,” Cornell said. “We have a lot of new parts (including coaching) this season so chemistry will be key.”
In Argyle, the Lady Eagles finished 31-13 overall with a district record of 9-3 in 2021, which was good enough for second place in the 7-4A competition.
Argyle returns last year’s District Newcomer of the Year to Katherine Holtman as well as All-District First Team selection Camryn Heiser to help lead the way.
The Lady Eagles beat FW Dunbar, Brownwood, Stephenville and Dumas to reach the regional final last year before falling to Decatur.
At Liberty Christian School, the Lady Warriors will move to TAPPS 5A this season, and coach Madyson Hillis says LCS will have their work cut out for them.
“With us losing four talented seniors last season, our girls know there are big shoes to fill,” Hillis said. “We have a lot of novelties this season, but we are confident that we can always take care of our business.”
Reagan Fifer, Quinlan Denney, Tori Garrett, Quinnly Heinsen and Naya Salfiti are good returning players for the Lady Warriors this year.
“These five girls have worked extremely hard in their off season,” Hillis said. “A lot of them had successful club seasons and spent their summers in the gym.”
Liberty Christian finished undefeated in the District for the fourth straight season in 2021, reaching the state semifinals before losing to Prestonwood Christian Academy.
Hillis said she thinks LCS is going to have another strong performance in 2022.
“I believe if we can improve on what we know our struggles are at the start of the season, our chances of making the playoffs and having a successful postseason are high,” Hillis said. “We must arrive with a good state of mind to improve every day, capitalize on the strengths and know the weaknesses of our opponents.”