Ray says Lady Dragons will be young and inexperienced in 2020

Chris Bowie
cbowie@boonvilledailynews.com
BUNCETON VOLLEYBALL TEAM (front row, left to right) Kelcey Mullett, Madison Brown, Kylee Myers and Hailey Milne. (back row, left to right) Bella Vaca, Madelynn Myers, Kaelyn Crews, Maddie Brandes, Alyssa Welch and Alexia Hein.

The Bunceton/Prairie Home Lady Dragons volleyball team will have to learn on the fly if they are going to have success in 2020.

With only 10 players suited out for the fall season, one of which is a returning starter, head coach Dustin Ray said the Lady Dragons will be young to the game but is hoping with the new schemes they have put in place that they will be successful.

“I have a fairly new team playing together, but we are tall and athletic,” Ray said. “Getting a good set for us to hit will be the key.”

Of course the cupboard isn’t totally bare for Bunceton. Although the Lady Dragons return only one starter, they will have four returning letterwinners back. Bunceton also has something to build on after finishing 5-15 in 2019.

However with only two schools in the conference with volleyball, Ray said Calvary Lutheran will be tough to beat after coming off a Final Four appearance in 2019.

“I want to be able to compete with them, but also show improvement off of the tough losses we took from them last year,”Ray said.

Although five wins in 2019 was a start for a young program such as Bunceton, Ray said the main goal this season is to improve on last year’s record. He said the program got its first district win in a good long while so the hope is to repeat that as well.

But in order for that to happen, Ray said the key to the season is going to lie in the two setters- sophomore Kylee Myers and junior Bella Vaca. He said if they can get the job done, the Lady Dragons will have a good season.

Although experience may be a shortcoming this season for Bunceton, Ray said the team has a ton of height. He said the Lady Dragons will have four hitters, three of which will be on the court all the time throughout their rotation.

“Madelynn Myers and Madison Brown are both returning with a large amount of playing time last year so I look for them to lead us in kills,” Ray said. “We also have Kaelyn Crews and Maddie Brandes, who are both extremely tall and will be a huge threat to other teams. I see them being our blocking leaders.”

However with any young team, Ray also knows the lack of experience could be a hindrance in the team’s progression. With only four seniors on the team, that means Bunceton will feature a team with six underclassmen.

“We are all fairly young to the game,” Ray said. “As a coach, and our players, there isn’t a great deal of volleyball time added together. We will have to work harder than other teams just based on our inexperience.”

The outside hitters this season for Bunceton are seniors Madelynn Myers and Kaelyn Crews, junior Alexia Hein and freshman Kelcey Mulett.

Senior Maddie Brandes and sophomore Madison Brown will lead the Lady Dragons at the middle hitter position. Meanwhile, as defensive specialists, Ray will look to senior Alyssa Welch and sophomore Hailey Milne.

2020 BUNCETON/PRAIRIE HOME VOLLEYBALL

SCHEDULE

8-31-LA MONTE, 6

9-1-OTTERVILLE, 6

9-3-at Hallsville, 6

9-8-SACRED HEART, 6

9-12-Stover JV Tourn., TBA

9-15-RUSSELLVILLE, 6

9-24-CALVARY LUTHERAN, 6

9-26-Hallsville Tourn, TBA

9-28-KINGSVILLE, 6

10-1-at Chilhowee, 6

10-5-at Lincoln, 6

10-6-at Otterville, 6

10-9-CHAMOIS, 6

10-16-CHILHOWEE, 6

10-19-at Chamois, 6

10-21-CAPITAL CITY, 6

10-26-29-Districts, TBA

Note: Home games in caps.