Looking to make some noise in their Section and Region this year, the Paden City High School volleyball team is gearing up for a season of hard work and no surprises.
Last year's Lady 'Cats within a heartbeat of making the Regional finals, finishing the year with a very respectable 29-13 record. This year, the Green and White have plans to do more.
"We have a great group of girls who have improved since last year and are showing more continued improvement every day," said Fred King, head volleyball coach.
"We lost two excellent players in Lynnsie Parsons and Logan Cosper to graduation last year and Josie Fox, who moved. We've been working hard, learning our roles and we're ready to go."
Leading the charge for PCHS will be Myah Charkawi, the only senior on the roster.
With that distinction will come a great deal of responsibility. "Myah is a fantastic athlete and is a proven leader on and off the court," said King. "She will be our team captain and the libero on the team.
"She has done an excellent job leading the team, helping the younger players and serving as a coach on the floor. Her serving has improved over last year and she's become a more precise hitter. She'll definitely be our number one defensive player on the floor."
Three experienced juniors return to the line-up: Graeson Baker (OH); Haley Hizer (MH), and Megan Pierce (OH).
"All three of these girls have improved their play since their sophomore year," said King. "Graeson has always been an excellent server and we're expecting more of the same from her this year, while Hizer and Pierce both are getting up higher and better.
Their improved blocking skills will be a great asset to us."
Sophomores Cydney Blatt (OH) and Taylor Cosper (S) also return with varsity experience-Blatt as a strong defensive player and Cosper with skilled hands under the ball. "Cydney is moving over from the middle hitter position to the outside," King said. "She's got a strong serve and is blocking very well. She will help us on the outside."
"Taylor will be our main setter. She can absolutely play anywhere on the floor and be a tremendous asset wherever she plays." Cosper had 521 service points last year and is expected continue her prowess behind the line this season.
A large freshman class joins the ranks of Wildcat volleyball players this year with six: Kallie Arnett (MH); Abbi Still (MH); Madison Kelly (OH/S); Chelsea Baker (OH/MH); Mariah Lasure (OH/MH); and Shelby Gatian (OH/MH).
"Our schedule is full of very, very good, solid teams," King said. "We'll face some of the best teams in the state and we need to be competitive right off the bat."
Paden City will begin the 2013 season tonight at home hosting Linsly and Hundred. On Thursday Valley will compete with the home team at Bob Burton Gymnasium in a dual.