As Andrea Daugherty enters her third year as head coach for the Andover Trojans, it’s clear that the program hasn’t skipped a beat.
Daugherty and a strong nucleus of players turned last season’s campaign into quite the success story before the team’s dreams of reaching State were dashed by Emporia State in the sub-state championship match. But this year’s edition of the Trojans returns six high-performing seniors who look to get the team over the top at into the state tournament.
“Having six returning seniors and one returning junior will help us develop an even stronger
team,” Daugherty said. “For most of them, this is their third year on varsity. Their experience and confidence will benefit the newcomers.”
That confidence is reason the Trojans have high expectations. Their goal is to win the competitive AVCTL-Div. II league title as well as reach State.
“Despite these big goals, I am trying to get the girls to understand that we have to take it one step at a time,” Daugherty said.
The Trojans return two First Team All-Leaguers, both of whom are seniors. Isabelle Reynolds earned the honor as a hitter and finished last year with 287 kills.
“She is our standout outside hitter. She is very athletic, versatile, and one the best power hitters in the league,” Daugherty said of Reynolds.
Julia Graves earned the honor — and All-State Honorable Mention — as the team’s libero. She broke the school record for digs in a season with 505 and looks to be a defensive stopper again this year. She also tallied 42 aces.
“She is a solid libero, and one of the best liberos I have ever worked with,” Daugherty said.
Senior Olivia Hessman returns at the right side and setter. She finished with 160 kills and earned Second Team All-League honors. Daugherty said she will be the team’s primary leader of the offense.
Seniors Mallory Loflin, Taylor Swyers and Kendyl Dotson return, as well. Loflin will play middle, where Daugherty said she will be the team’s primary blocker. She said that Loflin has a strong swing and can produce on both sides of the ball. She had 137 kills last year. Swyers is a defensive specialist while Dotson will play right side.
Junior setter Sierra Norlin and sophomore middle-outside Lidia DiLollo both return to varsity.
Newcomers who will make an impact include Brynn Wilson (junior, defensive specialist), Korynn Haetten (sophomore, middle hitter) and Maggie Creitz (sophomore outside hitter).