By Chris McCarthy/Editor
The Gadsden State volleyball team is primed to take its 2015 season one step further than its immediate predecessor.
Coming off a 2014 season that saw the Lady Cardinals post a 28-17 record and finish runner-up at the Alabama Community College Conference Tournament, GSCC is reloaded for a run at the state title.
“I don’t ever like losing to Wallace, of course, but [head coach] Randy Daniel puts a good team together every year and they’re tough to beat,” said head coach Angie Sanders. “But looking at our schedule, we have a chance to beat everyone we play.”
Sophomores include outside hitter Emma Easley, who was an ACCC All-Region 22 second team selection last year; defensive specialist Chassidy Farmer; setter Riley Carter; outside hitter J’Nae Fraser; setter/defensive specialist Kaycee Willingham; and hitters Anna Sanders and Abbie Mills.
“Emma’s a full-time starter and she won’t come out,” said Sanders. “She hits the ball very hard and is one of the top twp passers on the team. She’s a great kid and a big asset for us. Chassidy’s very versatile and a great defensive player who can play left back or middle back.
“I had Riley play more of a defensive position last year, and I’d like to get her and [freshman] JoLee Dobbs on the same page at setter. Kacee was our pri-mary setter last year, so I have a lot of options in that area. Anna and Abbie are my right side blockers. J’Nae will be my libero, and she’s top of the line, too.”
As always in Sanders’ program, freshmen are expected to contribute immediately.
“We’ve had a few preseason scrimmages, and [the freshmen] are playing pretty well,” said. “I think that we can put something together with them (and the sophomores).”
The freshman class features middle hitter Jewel Mathis from New Hope, middle hitter Jada Carr from Benjamin Russell, middle hitter Tamaria Mays from Jacksonville, outside hitter Summer Hin-ton from Addison, outside hitter D’Talya Lewis from Saks, outside hitter Courtney Rowe from Sand Rock and setter JoLee Dobbs from Walker.
The Lady Cardinals travel to Tyler Tex, this weekend for a junior college tournament.
“I need to expose our girls to the speed of that kind of volleyball right off the bat or they’ll be shocked when we get out there for conference play,” said Sanders.
Gadsden State begins ACCC play on Tuesday (Aug. 25) at Southern Union and has its home opener on Aug. 31 against Faulkner State.
The ACCC Tournament will be played at Beck Field House in early November.
Connie Clark is the assistant coach.