The Craig County girls opened the volleyball season with a tournament at Eastern Montgomery in Elliston last Saturday. The girls competed against Alleghany, Roanoke Catholic and host East Mont in the tournament and finished third.
Coach Suzanne Crawford has some talented girls returning from last year’s team. Senior Randalyn Taylor will be returning at middle hitter and she’ll be a team leader.
“Randalyn will be a strong asset to the team with experience and her positive attitude,” said Crawford.
Junior Maggie Mays will be the setter.
“Maggie is such a diverse player,” said Crawford. “I can place her anywhere and she will execute. Maggie is a great leader for our team. She is aggressive, a team leader and an all-around great asset to the team.”
Jenna Boitnott also returns after playing varsity as a sophomore. Another sophomore, Cheyanne Bell, is an outside hitter.
“Cheyanne has been working on her hitting and passing skills and has put in a lot of hours working on improving her technique for more aggressive ball placement,” said Crawford.
Junior Erin Snider is a strong defensive player and sophomore Dalieigh Donithan is an outside hitter.
Several girls new to the varsity are expected to help. Freshman Kailyn Jones will be a middle and she had a big day at East Mont.
“Kailyn is going to bring so much to this team,” said Crawford. “She is aggressive, consistent and focused. Her defensive game on the net is going to be something people are going to want to watch. She is also very aggressive when it comes to attacking the ball.”
Layla Dooley is a junior and she will also be contributing to the team playing opposite.
“We will be using her aggressive skills when playing defense,” said Crawford. “Layla has great technique and drive that will be such an asset to the team.”
Junior Gracie Huffman came out this year and will be playing middle. She is young but has a good technique and a positive attitude that is great for the team.
Other newcomers include Neveah Hypes, Brooklyn and Ashley Cayton and Rylee Phills.
Ashley Peters is coaching the jayvee team this year. She was a setter for Craig County High and has a lot to offer the girls. Ashley has been working with the girls to help improve their technique and fundamentals when setting.
Athletic Director Carrie Hutton is also an assistant.
“I cannot say enough about Carrie,” said Crawford. “She is a huge asset to this program. Her love for the volleyball program shows in her dedication to these athletes.”
Former Craig coach Geoff Boyer is also a help to the program.
“He works with my girls and gets them pumped and excited,” said Crawford. “He too will also forever be a huge part of our successful program.”
The Rockets will play their first seven games, at the minimum, on the road as the new wooden floor is finished in the Craig County gym.
“This year should be a great season for us,” said Crawford. “Hopefully the new gym floor will be ready so the community can watch these girls and see the hard work and effort they have put in. We have a lot of talent and a strong team. My expectations are pretty high. If we can execute in games and be consistent with passing and finishing we are going to be a very strong team.”