WEST ALEXANDRIA — Twin Valley South’s volleyball team enters every season with high expectations.
“We always want to compete and we always want to have fun. My expectations year to year are always set very high because I always want all the kids to realize the program – in order for it to survive – we have to have high expectations,” said head coach Leslie Roberts.
The Panthers finished last season 15-7 overall, receiving third place in the conference behind Miami East and Tri-Village.
In order for the program to be successful though, they will need to replace four seniors from last season. They graduated Paris Gruber, Skyler Lain, Kaylee Johnson, Gentry Gates.
Twin Valley South also only returns three letter winners from a season ago: Taylor Kirkpatrick, Kaitlyn Meyers, Abby Beneke.
Competing in conference is not Roberts’ concern, though. She knows her team will be ready for the regular season. It’s the post-season that is making her worry. The Panthers bowed out in the first round of the playoffs last season.
“I’m not concerned about not being competitive,” said Roberts. “I do worry about post-season. We want to win one more tournament game and get into the second round of the sectionals. I think the rest will take care of itself.”
The team spent some time at a volleyball camp during the pre-season preparing for the season ahead.
“We built team chemistry when we went to team camp. We played close to a half of a season up there, plus the fact that we were building our chemistry, camaraderie, and just all-out having fun. As far as girls getting along, the only problems they have is getting along with their coach,” Roberts joked.
Making some noise in the playoffs isn’t the only challenge ahead for the Panthers, however. Cross County Conference champion Miami East looks to be a tough opponent again this season.
Roberts still expects her squad to compete near the top of the conference once again, though.
“I expect to be top half, yes. Will we be top two? That’s yet to be determined. We would like to win it all, but we know Miami East reloaded. They graduated a bunch but they had a bunch of freshmen,” said Roberts.
So far, the Panthers are off to a very good start. They are 2-0, defeating non-conference opponents Middletown Madison and Carlisle.
They traveled to Stivers on Monday and then to Dunbar on Tuesday. The Panthers will open league play when they travel to Franklin Monroe this Thursday.