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Last year, the LaMoille-Ohio volleyball team continued its progression under coach Hallie May, who is entering her fourth season heading the program, as the Lady Lions finished 14-16 and advanced to the Class 1A Earlville Regional final.
The Lady Lions are looking to continue their progression this year and hope to compete for a regional title.
“Things are looking strong. We made to the regional finals last year and we’re returning a good core from that team. This year we’re looking to come out with a regional,” May said.
Senior co-captain Shiela Browning will return to lead the Lady Lions at the net. The senior hitter moves from the middle to outside hitter this year to give her more looks on offense.
“She’s really stepped into a leadership role on the team. She’s helping lead the other girls around her,” May said. “She’s got a powerful swing and can jump out of the gym.
“She’s the kind of player that can play anywhere up front, but I think we’re going to need her the most outside.”
Fellow senior co-captain Vanessa Martinez, from Ohio, will join junior Ragen Forbes — a third year starter at libero and 2012 NewsTribune All-Area Third-Team pick — to lead the Lady Lions in the back row.
“Ragen runs the defense very well and knows where people are supposed to be. She runs the back row well,” May said. “Vanessa’s another one who’s a really great leader. She’s a hard worker and she is a big part of the back row with Ragen.”
Junior setter Erin Bennett will team up with sophomore setter RaeAnne Schultz in L-O’s 6-2 offense.
“Both of them are getting their first go-round at varsity, but they’re both great setters,” May said.
Other players expected to contribute this fall include middle hitters Toni Lawrence and Elizabeth Geuther — who both got some varsity time last year — as well as defensive specialists Emily Fahs, Harleigh Young and Madi Walker.
The Lady Lions are 1-1 so far this fall with a non-conference win over Serena and a loss to Woodland.
LaMoille heads to Ashton-Franklin Center tonight to continue its young season.
Chris Yucus can be reached at 220-6995 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_SportsChris.
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