BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) —The high school volleyball will begin the regular season in just a couple of days, and despite their youth, Bay is ready to get after it.
Looking at the core of the team, it certainly looks like the makings of a rebuild. The tornadoes graduated six seniors from last year’s team, five of whom we’re starters, along with almost all of their offensive production.
However, Bay is returning a strong unit on the back end with multiple senior setters and defenders.
They will be a young group, with 20 of the 37 girls within their three teams, varsity, JV red and JV white, all being new to the program. The starting unit will look much different for the tornadoes this fall, but they don’t see that as a negative.
“We built a lot more, not just with varsity players but with our JV white and JV red,” senior defensive specialist Keyarra Hamilton said. “We were together and had more of a team atmosphere, that way when we get on the court, we’re very trusting and it’s not six individual players playing for themselves, but we’re all playing to make each other better.”
With new players on the court, the game plan may look different for the Tornadoes.
“I think we’re small but we’re going to be scrappy,” senior setter Kailey Cook said. “Our defense is going to be good too and our placement for the ball, so instead of power we’ll have placement to know where the other team isn’t.”
Head coach Sierra Burris recognized the changes from last season to this season but remains optimistic that her players can perform well.
“It’s been a big jump, I will say we’ve laid the groundwork for culture, so now they are seniors and they are leading the way by example and it’s been super cool,” Burris said. “We know that we’re going to have different strengths on and off the court this year so we’re looking to play up to those different leadership styles and play styles. We’re not hiring from the fact that it’s going to be different from last year, but we’re really excited to explore those different strengths.”
The Tornadoes will open their season at home next week, as they host the Marianna Bulldogs on August 23.