Coach: Jessica King
Last year: Went 10-7 overall and 7-5 in the Northwest Conference (sixth). ... Qualified for the Class 2A District Tournament, where a 3-0 loss to Archbishop Murphy and a 3-1 loss to Lakewood were enough to nullify the 3-1 win over Shorecrest and end their season.
Players to watch: Summer Douglas (OH, RS.), Jocelyn Johnson (MB, Jr.), Sophia Lawrence (L, Jr.)
Outlook: “We’re going further than last year,” new coach Jessica King said in a phone interview. While she admitted the statement seemed cocky, especially since the Red Raiders were a game away from state last season, the first-year coach sounded plenty confident in her crop of players. “We have no hardware in our case. That’s a huge drive.” Leading the way is top returner and last year’s kills leader Summer Douglas. But King is looking beyond her outsides, where the Red Raiders have had so much talent the past few seasons. The strength this season will instead come from the middle, led by junior Jocelyn Johnson. “We have so much talent in the middle, that’s where we’re going to be,” King said. Feeding the ball to Johnson and Douglas will be junior libero Sophia Lawrence, who is “just an amazing passer,” King said. While Anna Zeegers and Olivia Bjorklund were the focal points of last year’s team, King doesn’t feel like they’re missing many huge players or leaders. In fact, with six seniors, leadership has come in abundance. What more could a first-year coach ask for?
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