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Dual stars replaced by ‘team play’ for ’05 VolleyDogs

The Bearden Volleydogs hope that strong team unity will deliver a successful 2005 season.

Despite losing standouts Lauren Broyles and Ashleigh Smith to graduation, the VolleyDogs look for a much more team oriented showing this upcoming season.

"We are going to have a lot of team play," BHS coach Jennifer Allen said. "Last year we were real young and tended to depend on Lauren and Ashleigh a lot and this year I think it is going to be more team play and people are going to have more confidence and step up."

Two players in particular that Allen hopes will fill in as leaders are Caroline Winstel at outside hitter and Rachel Menhinick on defense. Other notable returning starters are Dani Barnes at middle hitter and Lindsay Granger at outside hitter.

Two newcomers to the starting lineup are sophomores Briana Rittenhouse at middle blocker and Brittany Basham at setter.

"We lost two really good seniors and five (total) seniors, two All-district players in Broyles and Smith but we have a few girls with some experience, probably five girls who have had some playing time last year," Allen said. "We rotated a lot of girls in three or four positions last year and those are the ones that back."

Allen hopes that such versatility will provide an edge needed in a very tough district. "I think it is going to be a pretty strong district from top to bottom," Allen said.

As for teams to beat in District 4-AAA, “Farragut and Maryville have the most experienced team coming back,” Allen said.

Allen's outlook on the upcoming season is direct and optimistic: "I think it should be a good year for us.”


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