Last year the Montgomery County varsity volleyball team did quite well for itself in Eastern Missouri Conference competition, but outside of that the squad struggled to get into a winning groove like it was hoping to.
That's why this year head coach Rachel Leu is hoping to get ahead of the issues she feels held her the Lady Wildcats back last season and cut things off before those same problems end up forcing the same results. Fortunately for her one factor working in her favor is the fact that this team has a healthy number of starters returning from last year and it will be those specific athletes that Leu leans on to get these team from where it's at to where it wants to be.
"We graduated one of our outside hitters. Everyone else is coming back," said Leu. "(This includes) Seniors: Paige Oden (setter), Kristin Koch (middle, outside), Alyssa White (DS), Makenna Meyer (outside), Juniors Hailey Hill (outside), (and) Sophomore Renee Finke (middle)."
One of the issues Leu wants to address from last year aren't playing with an individual mindset. Instead she wants this group playing as one cohesive unit and the fcat they weren't last year is one of the reasons the team didn't win nearly as many matches as it could have.
"We were 9-17 last year (and) ended up 6-2 in the conference," Leu said. "This year I am focused on making sure we are playing as a team this year."
Not only does every team tend to lose talent to graduation every year, but they also tend to gain some via the incoming freshman class. Montgomery County was no exception to that guiding principle this season, and that fresh blood will more than likely find its way onto the court in 2018-19 more than once.
"New this year is Junior Brooke Oden (outside) and Sophomores Taylor Flake (middle) and Anna Shaw (libero), who will get the opportunity to help us out this year," said Leu.
Not that defense is an afterthought with this squad, but Leu's crew is built to score. That will always make for an exciting style of play, but as for whether or not it makes for a winning season at least partly relies on how well the Lady Wildcats are able to eexecute the intangibles.
"We will be strong offensively this year," Leu said. "We always look to improve our passing, but that is one area that never is 'good enough' in my opinion."
MEXICO VOLLEYBALL JAMBOREE
SATURDAY, AUG. 18, 2018
TEAMS: MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MEXICO, BROOKFIELD, HALLSVILLE,
10 a.m. Mexico vs. Hallsville
10:45 a.m. Mexico vs. Brookfield
11:30 a.m. Mexico vs. Montgomery County
10 a.m. Montgomery County vs. Brookfield
10:45 a.m. Hallsville vs. Montgomery County
11:30 a.m. Brookfield vs. Hallsville
VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON SCRIMMAGE: Refer to MSHSAA By-Law 3.16.5 for general rules regarding the preseason scrimmage. Volleyball teams have an opportunity to scrimmage other schools prior to their first regular season contest. Each school will be allowed to participate in only one preseason volleyball scrimmage. The scrimmage may be conducted after your team has completed nine conditioning practices and before your first contest. Team scoring and all NFHS rules shall be followed and enforced. Teams may wear practice or game uniforms.
The scrimmage can be a three or four team format only. When there are three schools participating, a maximum of four sets (two against each team to 21 points) shall be allowed. When there are four schools participating, a maximum of six sets (two against each team to 15 points) shall be allowed. Point caps are at the host’s discretion.
Admission: $4.00 Adults, $2.00 Students
MONTGOMERY COUNTY VARSITY VOLLEYBALL SCHEDULE 2018
DATE OPPONENT TIME
8-27 vs Hermann 5:30 p.m.
8-29 vs Warrenton 5:30 p.m.
8-30 at North Callaway 5:30 p.m.
9-1 vs MCHS JV Tourney 9:00 a.m.
9-4 at Bowling Green 5:30 p.m.
9-6 at New Haven 5:30 p.m.
9-11 at Union 5:00 p.m.
9-13 vs North Callaway 5:50 p.m.
9-17 at Owensville 5:00 p.m.
9-18 vs Centralia 5:30 p.m.
9-20 vs Wright City 5:30 p.m.
9-24 to 9-27 at Hermann Varsity Tournament TBA
10-1 vs Winfield 5:30 p.m.
10-2 at Centralia 5:30 p.m.
10-4 vs Bowling Green 5:39 p.m.
10-8 vs Hallsville 5:30 p.m.
10-9 at Calvary Lutheran 6:00 p.m.
10-13 at Eugene Varsity Tournament TBA
10-15 vs Battle 5:30 p.m.
10-18 at Wright City 5:00 p.m.
10-22 vs Districts TBA