With 14 players out and with the leadership of All-CPL Bri Evans and Tara Bunker plus the experience of Selena Galan, Macksville's head volleyball coach Jennifer Gillespie will have one-half of last year's top players returning. She'll have her work cut out for her though, but if attitude has anything to do with success, her 2013 Lady Stangs will meet the challenge head on.
The Lady Mustangs will still have a decided height disadvantage this year with their tallest players Clara Cross and Bunker both standing at 5'8”. Cross, a senior along with fellow senior Melissa Espino bring varsity experience to the line-up.
Evans, one of four seniors is Macksville's stand-out in the back court and known for her reliable defensive skills. Bunker, a junior uses every inch of her height with her slams at the net. She and senior Galan's slams talley up many of Macksville's scores. Cross, the tallest player on the team is a force at the net as the Stangs's middle-hitter and blocker.
“We will have some big shoes to fill with the graduation of a quality senior class and will have to rely on our young players to fill the holes” said coach Gillespie. “We will be extremely youthful at some positions, but have some girls who have a great deal of competitive court experience and are ready to challenge for extensive playing time.”
Gillespie continued saying, “Our schedule this year includes last year's state qualifiers Bucklin (1A Div 1), Kiowa County (2A), Pratt-Skyline 4th in 2A, St. John state runner-up in 1A Div 1, and the very competitive Hutch-Trinity, Central Plains, and Ellinwood.”
This year's roster includes seniors: Galen (5'7” OH/S), Evans (5'4” Libero), Cross (5'8” MH/RH) and Espino (5'3” S/DS) – juniors: Bunker (5'8” MH), Emma Austin (5'5” OH), Erin Hornbaker (5'3” Libero) – Sophomores: Cody Burnett (5'5” OH) and Kaite Blevins (5'6” OH) – Freshmen: Taylor Gillespie (5'7” MH/RH), Sophie Filbert (5'6” S/OH), Olivia Vosburgh (5'4” S/OH) and Deisy Carillo (5'6” OH). Olivia Vosburgh's name was inadvertanly left off the St. John News printed edition.
Head Coach: Jennifer Gillespie 15th year – Assistant Coach: Amy Stewart 2nd year.
Last Year's Finish: 2nd round sub-state loss to St. John-Hudson.
Returning lettermen: 6 – Returning starters 3.
Macksville's first matches are at Bucklin's Quad on Tuesday Sept. 3rd, the Mustangs matched up against Bucklin, Fowler and Satanta. The matches start at 4 pm.