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volleyball preview
Mitchell, Lady Ads seek state again


Placing The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga at the top of her list, Amanda Mitchell finally got a long-anticipated call.

It came from a UTC assistant volleyball coach Thursday night, Aug. 16, reaffirming the school’s interest in bestowing a scholarship upon the standout 6-foot senior All-state middle hitter at Farragut High School.

Worried UTC had “kinda” forgotten about her, Mitchell said that earlier this year the coach “kept telling me I was an ideal player and student,” then heard nothing until Aug. 16.

As opposed to playing for a major Division I program, “I feel like I’d get more experience with a smaller D-1 [program], and I feel like that’s more my level of play anyway,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell is also considering Western Carolina.

“To play at a D-1 school, she’s got that type of ability,” FHS head coach David Moore said. “A hard worker, strong hitter and blocker. She had good leadership skills.

“Amanda will be our go-to person,” Moore added, as Farragut seeks its fourth trip to the Class AAA state tourney in five years.

Mitchell said, “I don’t feel pressure because I don’t feel like a star, I feel like everyone else on the team has their own star qualities.”

The Lady Admirals return four other seniors “who all played quite a bit last year,” said Moore, who was expected to surpass the 600-win mark this week.

“This should be a good passing team and defensive team, and should be able to generate quite a bit of offense, too,” he said.

Senior right-side hitter Marian Curtner started “most of last year,” Moore said. Seniors Diana Deer and Amber Pyle are defensive specialists, while senior Kimbra Hoehn is an outside hitter/defensive specialist.

Hoehn said, “A lot of people are talking about how we’re not going to make it this year ... a lot of other teams are thinking that. I think everybody wants to prove ’em wrong, so we can make it to state. … We’re always the one they’re gunning for.”

Curtner said that while it was an honor to play in last year’s state tournament, “It was kinda scary … my first year being at state. I felt a lot of pressure because I didn’t want to let my team down.”

Other key players with prime time playing experience include Julia Mathes, junior setter. “She was one of our two setters last year,” Moore said. Bryanna Reveiz, junior middle hitter, is another returning starter.

Expecting key contributions from less experienced Admirals, Moore added, “We’re going to lean on Ariel Lebert and Cara Gregg, both juniors,” who dressed with varsity and played some last year.

Kylann Scheidt, a sophomore transfer, and junior Macy Fain, “will help us with setting,” Moore said. “Natalia Hayes will be valuable, stepping in to help us, some in the middle, some on the right side, too.”

Melissa Eggert, a junior to be used as a utility player, “is a hard worker,” Moore said. Junior Dessi Klonaris “is a strong passer.”

Other players looking to contribute are sophomores Hannah Miller and Tia King, and freshmen Kassie Detchemendy, Brandi Guidish Kelsey Handel, Courtney Madden, Riley Miller, Kaylin Rhode, Brittany Rooney and Chelsey Smith.

Moore is assisted by coach Brendon Cleer.

 

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