Blooming Grove Lady Lions
Coach: Kathryn Wilganowski (1st season)
2011 record: 2-26, 0-10 in district
Players to Watch: Steely Southard, Jr., MB; Falcon Thompson, Setter, Jr.
2012 Outlook: Wilganowski comes from Bremond, where she was the girls basketball coach. She last coached volleyball at Rosebud-Lott in 2003. Southard and Thompson have stepped up to be leaders. Hannah Chaffin and Lauren Miller will provide important senior leadership.
Dawson Lady Bulldogs
Coach: Rex Cook (1st season)
2011 record: 15-15; 5-7 (4th place)
Players to Watch: Demi Dotson, Jr., OH; Kaylee Martinez, Jr., Setter/Libero; Courtney Warren, So., OH; Stormi Matthews, Jr., OH; Jalyn Miller, So., MB; Stephanie Lindsey, Fr., OH
2012 Outlook: Dawson has a new coach, Rex Cook, who has a solid nucleus of players returning. Demi Dotson was a first-team All-Golden Circle pick last year with 48 aces, 138 kills, 127 digs and six blocks.
Frost Lady Polar Bears
Coach: Elaine Woods (3rd season)
2011 Record: 12-14, 2-8 in district (5th place)
Players to Watch: Kadee Bowling, Sr, OH; Sabrina Jameson, Libero, Sr.; Dakota Lassetter, Sr., Setter/OH; Kim Long, Sr., OH; Alexya Steels, Jr., MB
2012 Outlook: Frost has added depth with a strong freshman class coming up. Bowling, Jameson, Lassetter and Long provide plenty of senior leadership. Steels should shine as the middle blocker. The Lady Polar Bears are in a wide open district and won five non-district matches last year against teams in their new district.
Hubbard Lady Jaguars
Coach: Vicki Fletcher (5th season)
2011 Record: 23-18, 8-4 in district (3rd place)
Players to Watch: Dallas Fletcher, Sr., Setter; Kaila Banks, Jr., OH
2012 Outlook: Hubbard will once again challenge for a playoff spot, and the Lady Jaguars should battle Cayuga for their first district title since 2009. The Lady Jags beat Moody (3-1) and lost to Blum (3-1) in last year’s playoffs. Fletcher was a first-team All-Golden Circle selection in 2011.
Coach: Kristen Lynch (2nd season)
2011 Record: 11-21, 4-5 in district (4th place)
Players to Watch: Marqueshia Kelly, Jr., OH/MB; Taylor Ames, Jr., Setter; Keenya Brown, Sr., MB/MH; Elizabeth Pratt, Sr., Libero
2012 Outlook: The LadyCats have a deep roster with many returning players that also were on Kerens’ girls state basketball tournament team. Kelly, who made All-Golden Circle, had 128 kills and 66 blocks. Ames had 88 percent serving. Brown had 53 kills and 47 blocks. Pratt had 50 digs. The LadyCats lost to Rice last year in a play-in game to make the playoffs.
Mildred Lady Eagles
Coach: JoAnna Vaden (2nd season)
2011 Record: 17-20, 5-7 in district (4th place)
Players to Watch: Olivia Farmer, Sr., MH; Audra Springer, Sr., OH; Callie Bland, Jr., Libero; Jenny Jock, Sr., OH
2012 Outlook: The Lady Eagles have an experienced group that should challenge for a playoff spot. Farmer had 152 kills, 62 blocks and 123 digs last season. Springer had 138 kills and 16 blocks. Bland had 351 digs. Jock had 31 kills.
Rice Lady Bulldogs
Coach: Donna Gent (5th season)
2011 Record: 20-14, 5-4 in district (3rd place)
Players to Watch: Celina Smithers, Sr., MH; Sarah Gent, Sr;, Setter; Paige Allen, Sr, MH/OH; Sadie Gent, Soph., OH
2012 Outlook: Rice will contend for a playoff spot with four returning starters. Sadie Gent was the Golden Circle Newcomer of the Year after leading Rice with 20 aces and 104 digs. Smithers was a first-team selection with a team-high 140 kills and 54 blocks. Sarah Gent led the Lady Bulldogs with 279 assists.
Wortham Lady Bulldogs
Coach: Lorie Ward (1st season)
2011 Record: 25-12, 10-2 in district (2nd place)
Players to Watch: Amber Libhart, Sr., MB; Kennedy Vogel, Sr., Middle Hitter; Kenzie Sessions, Sr., Libero
2012 Outlook: Wortham has a new coach, Lorie Ward, and must reload with key players Anna Jones and Ki’Undrea Smith graduated off of last year’s area round team. The Lady Bulldogs will have to be scrappy and develop a new setter, junior Sara Sessions and freshman Kendle Rhodes.