The Lady Braves are basically a new team from what they’ve been the past two years.
Only one returning senior had a lot of varsity time with Kenedey Brog playing on the back line. With just a handful of days remaining until the volleyball team rolls into the familiar gyms of Cokeville High School, the competition for spots on both the varsity and junior varsity teams is getting intense. It’s just the kind of situation that coach Leanne Smith likes.
“I think they’ve been working really hard and they’ve improved a lot,” she responded. “They’ve still got some things we need to work on. We’re getting close to getting a lineup together. The kids are pushing each other. They are going to have to be patient while they keep working and pushing each other because a lot of them are really close with their skill level.”
As their confidence grows along with their skill set and weight room numbers, this may be the most undefined the Lady Braves volleyball team has been in a decade. That’s not bad, but don’t expect there to be a lot of answers through the first tournament of the season. There are capable players filling roles and quite a few of them, but if you’re looking for a prediction, this year’s team is a little too green for that.
“We have a lot of sophomores who will be playing both JV and varsity,” Smith continued. Some of that is our numbers but the other part is that they are good athletes and they are playing well. There is a lot of athleticism. The kids are willing to work as hard as we want them to work.”
Typically athleticism combined with work ethic is a recipe for success. There are definitely pieces in place for the Lady Braves to thrive eventually. But figuring out who will play where is still a work in progress.
Smith is no stranger to that. She is working to combine some techniques from the previous regime with some tried and tested methods from her first two stints as the Lady Braves’ head coach.
“I”ve tried to incorporate things that Brandy has done with some drills from the Teichert camp and still keep some things that I used to do that I felt benefited the kids,” she added. [We’re] working hard on conditioning and on basic skills. It will be fun to go to Cokeville and get a gauge on where we’re at.”
The Lady Braves will play the Gillette Camels out of Campbell County High School first on Friday morning. They ladies will then play the Alta Hawks out of Sandy, Utah at 10:30 a.m. and then cap off the first day with a match against Bear Lake at 6:00 p.m.