By David Grimes Sunday, August 12 2012 00:00
With this being the last year that the Western Valley District will be in existence, the Patrick Henry volleyball team is looking to defend its district crown and make another run deep into the Group AAA state tournament this season.
Returning for the Patriots, who finished second in the Northwest Region before losing in the state quarterfinals, are senior setter Caroline Brailsford (81 aces, 142 kills, 736 assists, 56 blocks and 132 digs), senior outside hitter Sarah Miller (59 aces, 314 kills, 202 digs),senior libero Morgan Robison (301 digs, 42 aces) senior middle Page Pest (50 kills, 48 blocks), senior middle Lauren Deck (78 kills, 40 blocks) and sophomore defensive specialist Haley Arnold (129 digs).
New to the varsity lineup are junior outside hitter Samantha Edge, sophomore defensive specialist Sophia Tailor, sophomore opposite Rachel Miller, freshman outside hitter Abby Wolpert, freshman setter Olivia Pullin and freshman middle Bradley Smith.
Head coach Patricia Sheedy, who saw her team compile a 21-7 mark last season, sees her team's strengths as being a returning setter, an outside hitter and libero, plus experience. While, a second outside hitter and blocking will be a weakness.
The Patriots see Hidden Valley and Cave Spring as being there big matches, along with a tournament at Cave Spring with teams that made it to the state tournament in 2011.
What can Patriot fans expected this season? "We have a very tough non-district schedule, but we should challenge for the district title," noted Sheedy.
Patrick Henry opens its 2012 campaign on Wednesday, Aug. 22 when they host Hidden Valley.
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