New faces vs. experience

Posted Monday, Aug. 12, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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While the Lady Indians volleyball team perennially vies with Southlake Carroll for the district title, this year Keller should have its work cut out, having graduated 10 seniors from last year’s second-place squad.

Meanwhile, Keller Central could be challenging both of those top District 4-5A programs, as the Lady Chargers return a number of leaders from last year’s respectable playoff team.

2013 Lady Indians

Coach: Sylvia Ortiz (14th year, 11 playoff appearances)

2012: 33-9 (12-2 in District 4-5A), 2nd in district; lost to El Paso Franklin in area round of 5A state playoffs

Key returner: Senior setter Malery Wahlin

Outlook: Keller has a lot of growing up to do very quickly after graduating 10 seniors last year, six of which went on to play college volleyball this fall … The progression will be gradual throughout the season, but this team’s ability to progress is a strength, Ortiz said. “We’re going to be a team in progress – a work in progress. That’s our team,” she said. “Individually we have some great talent and we’re going to work hard for each player to improve individually, because we are young, and that is going to create some of our immediate success.”

Ortiz returns just one player, Wahlin, who will fortify not only the setting duties for Keller, but the main leadership role as well … Ortiz did say speed on defense is a forte of this year’s squad … Keller’s schedule is daunting before they enter district play, competing in tournaments hosted by Duncanville, Arlington and Justin Northwest, all of which will help mature this young team, Ortiz said.

“I actually like it,” she said. “Preseason is very important to compete hard and play hard so you can figure out what your weaknesses really are, so by the time district rolls around, you can improve on those.”

2013 Lady Chargers

Coach: Terri Kelso (3rd year, 1 playoff appearance)

2011: 3rd in District 4-5A; lost to Arlington Martin in 5A bi-district

Key returners: Middles Brianna Dorsey, Haley Howard; Outside Alexis Emanuel

Outlook: Central could be one of the favorites in the district with the amount of players Kelso returns to the squad this fall. “They’ve got some good positive leadership and anytime you’ve got that experience – seniors just want it more than others do,” Kelso said.

Middle is the biggest strength of the team, returning senior Dorsey, district blocker of the year, and Howard, all-district honorable mention … Setting will be a position that will need a younger player to fill after losing Sydney Rochelle to graduation and the Southwestern volleyball team.

Libero could be another position of concern entering the season, as an ankle injury potentially opened the starting position up, Kelso said … Central begins the season playing in tournaments hosted Duncanville, Granbury and San Marcos before entering district play.

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