Hendon has dipped down into last year’s junior varsity ranks to fill some holes, but he’s excited about the Lady Trojans’ potential.
“It’s been going good,” Hendon said of the Lady Trojans’ practices. “We’ve been doing a lot of new things we haven’t been doing in the past. Basically, we’re going to try and get better every game and hopefully by the end of the year it will pay off.”
The Lady Trojans have only one senior in Ashley Parris. Hendon said Parris is expected to play a hybrid role this season: part-time outside hitter and part-time defensive specialist.
Junior Hannah Van Pelt returns at setter. Fellow juniors Taylor Tomlin and Alex Montgomery will post up in the middle. Junior Sydney Hammett and sophomore Angie Calvert will take on the outside positions.
Junior Kaitlin Van Pelt, sophomore Brittany Partridge and freshman Lauren Hammett provide the Lady Trojans with depth.
“For some of them, this is their first year playing since eighth grade,” Hendon said. “Taylor and Alex played on varsity last year, but they were both limited because I had so many seniors. All the rest of them played on junior varsity.”
The younger Lady Trojans will have to adapt quickly if they want to contend for the Class 1A, Area 13 title. The area includes traditional rivals Cedar Bluff and Spring Garden, as well as newcomer Collinsville.
“Area is going to be our toughest play (on the schedule,” Hendon said. “Hopefully we’ll continue to get better and peak during the area tournament. That’s what I’m hoping for because we’re so young.”
Gaylesville opens the season on Friday at Glencoe in a tri-match with Cedar Bluff at 5 p.m.