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As the excitement builds for the upcoming volleyball season, Southeast High School’s volleyball team is ready to hit the court with renewed determination. Led by their experienced head coach, Maya White, who is entering her 13th year at the helm, the team is setting their sights on a successful journey in the TRL league.

Last year, the team made strides in their performance, showcasing growth from the previous season. With an overall record of 12 wins and 25 losses, they demonstrated their commitment to improvement. In the league, their record stood at 6 wins and 5 losses. However, the team acknowledged that their youth and lack of experience posed challenges, especially with a smaller roster of only 13 players across 9th to 12th grades. The squad also had to navigate changes in the setter position for the third consecutive year.

Despite these obstacles, the team managed to secure several notable achievements. They clinched 3rd place at the Dexter tournament, highlighting their progress and potential. Additionally, two seniors, Malia Vinson and Zoey Tavernaro, stood out and earned recognition for their exceptional contributions on the court.

However, the team bids farewell to these standout players who contributed significantly to last year’s successes. Malia Vinson, an all-around force, recorded 40 aces, 209 kills, 17 blocks, 301 serve receive receptions, and 213 digs. Zoey Tavernaro, a key defensive player, tallied 28 aces, 300 serve receive receptions, and 290 digs. Their absence will undoubtedly be felt, as they leave behind a legacy of excellence.

As the new season approaches, Southeast is gearing up with determination and focus. Four starters are making their return, and seven returning lettermen are ready to contribute their expertise. One player to watch is Sierra Applegate, who overcame injury last season and is now poised to take on the crucial role of Libero. With prior varsity experience, her senior leadership is anticipated to bring stability to the backcourt.

The team’s hopes for success are also pinned on their top returning players, who have demonstrated their skills on the court. Senior Kinzey Cassidy is expected to provide essential leadership, contributing 45 aces, 108 kills, 241 serve receive receptions, and 147 digs. Junior Charlee Gideon, with 62 kills and 32 blocks, aims to establish herself as a versatile middle hitter and blocker. Junior Eliz White, having gained valuable setting experience, is set to become an offensive powerhouse with 26 aces, 68 kills, 331 assists, 17 blocks, and 126 digs. Likewise, junior Bella Tavernaro, known for her well-rounded abilities, will continue to adapt to different roles as needed.

Excitingly, the team welcomes some key newcomers who are expected to make significant contributions. Junior Teagan Warner, returning after a brief absence, brings her prowess as a strong outside hitter. Junior Natalie Wells, a skilled setter and right-side player, showcases her all-around abilities. Sophomore Braeyln Sutton, a dynamic addition from Marmaton Valley, promises to be a strong presence both in the front and back rows.

Looking ahead to the 2023 season, Southeast High School’s volleyball team is optimistic. With increased experience and a growing roster, they plan to unleash a more aggressive offense. The addition of potent attackers like Teagan, Natalie, and Braeyln bolsters their strength on the court. Furthermore, the team’s competitive spirit and positive attitudes are expected to play a crucial role in their ongoing development and improvement. As the season unfolds, the Lancers aims to prove their mettle and make their mark in the TRL league.