The 2019 season will be a first in many ways for the Bunceton Lady Dragons volleyball team.
For starters, head coach Doug Gilliam will be coaching his first varsity match of the season when the Lady Dragons open on the road against La Monte on Friday, August 30th.
It will also be the first match with Bunceton and Prairie Home co-oping in volleyball.
With 16 girls suited out for the 2019 season, five of which are returning starters, Gilliam said since this is the first year to co-op with Prairie Home the key is communication and working together as one.
“Having five returning starters will help us tremendously,” Gilliam said. “However seven girls have never played before so with the help of the older girls and coaches, we will all be ready for the first game.”
The Lady Dragons finished 5-11 overall in 2018 but hope to better that mark this season with the addition of players from Prairie Home.
Players that will see playing time on the varsity team this season for Bunceton are seniors Cara Bishop, Ashlyn Twenter and Reagan Triebsch, juniors Taylyn Heilman and Madelynn Myers, sophomore Bella Vaca and freshmen Laney Heilman and Madison Brown.
“We have three seniors (Ashlyn Twenter, Cara Bishop and Reagan Triebsch) and these girls have worked hard and deserve every bit of their time on the floor,” Gilliam said. “Unfortunately, Reagan is still recovering from an injury and won’t be back until October.”
Vaca, Heilman and Triebsch will split time at the setter position while Myers, Twenter and Brown will see playing time at outside hitter. Bishop and Heilman will be the team’s utility players.
The JV team will consists of senior Lyrik Tracy, juniors Kaelyn Crews and Alyssa Welch, sophomores Alexia Hein, Emily Breece and Savannah Tracy and freshmen Hailey Milner and Kylee Myers.
After the match against  La Monte to open the season, Bunceton will travel to Otterville for a match on Tuesday, Sept. 3rd. Then, on Thursday, Sept. 5th, the Lady Dragons will host Hallsville in their home opener.
“We strive to keep overcoming obstacles and not get down or hang our heads,” Gilliam said. “Learning everything new is one thing we struggled with, but we are working through it.”