After a third-place finish in District 15-4A last season and a trip to the area round of the playoffs, Legacy has sights set on winning its new district, 14-5A, this season. The Lady Broncos volleyball team has a legitimate shot if it can fill a void in the middle.
Among the seven seniors lost to graduation were last year’s pair of starting middle blockers, and what head coach Amanda Shingleton’s team is losing in size, she’s hoping to replace with a little more quickness.
“One of the big losses we’re having to replenish this year is two middles. That’s size and experience in the middle,” she said. “We have the ability this year. I think we’re going to be a little quicker in the middle. Probably not as big, but a little quicker.”
One of the new faces expected to step into the open roles will be junior Lexi Contos, who played with the junior varsity last season.
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“I think as long as we can all stay healthy, I think that she’ll be a big contributor,” Shingleton said.
Another fresh face the coach hopes to have an immediate impact is setter Riley McKean, who played JV ball last season as a freshman.
Regardless of who’s setting, the Lady Broncos will have a pair of experienced outside hitters to put it down. Both Jasmine Jones and Brittny Bell return as seniors this season.
Shingleton doesn’t expect an overhaul of schemes this season with the team’s new look. In fact, she feels they could be even better at doing what they want to do by taking advantage of the smaller, more explosive middle.
“Even with the bigger middles that we had last year, the goal was always to run a fast offense – to transition quickly from defense to offense,” she said. “I feel like we might have a little more speed this year than we did last year.”
Legacy will have its preseason slate of tournaments and non-district matches to smooth out the new wrinkles and find the best combinations of personnel.
“That’s always the goal, is to use those preseason tournaments as not just chemistry building and for cohesiveness, but also, from a coaching standpoint, I have to figure out where everybody is going to best served for our team,” Shingleton said.
When the Lady Broncos do get to district play, opponents will be familiar to those of the last few seasons, despite the recent realignment. The new 14-5A is the same as the last year’s 15-4A, save for the addition of Timberview.
“The district was really competitive last year,” Shingleton said. “I feel like bringing Timberview in just makes it that much more competitive. It’s going to be competitive across the board. There’s no off week or off-game that we can go into overly confident.
“There’s some really good talent, some really good kids coming back who were contributors last year,” she added. “I think every team in our district is going to have to show up and play every night in order to finish where they want to finish.”