|2012 LADY BUCCS VOLLEYBALL...
It's a season of change for the Covington Lady Buccs, but the potential is there for a successful season.
2012 is a season of transition for the Covington volleyball team as it comes off a 13-12 season from a year ago.
Gone are five key players, including the tallest front court Covington has had in some time with the graduation of Caitlyn Crawford, Shelby Kihm and Haley Reames.
Also gone are coaches Lindsey Sullenberger and Alex Christian after two seasons at the helm.
But with change comes welcomed challenges and first-year head coach Ashley Miller has stepped in to take those challenges head on. Miller is a former player at Fairlawn High School and Urbana University. She also has four years of coaching experience at Fairlawn and Fort Loramie.
She will be assisted by former Covington varsity and junior varsity coach Stephanie Robinson, who played collegiately at the University of Nebraska of Omaha and enjoyed a high school playing career with national power Pius XI in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has nearly a decade of coaching experience at Covington schools from the varsity level down to junior high.
"We're excited, but at the same time we have to be patient," said Ashley Miller. "We got a late start is June. We were only able to only get into one tournament this summer because of that, so we are already behind. The good thing is the girls have worked very hard."
Making the transition smoother will be the six seniors on the roster; Anna Snyder, Shelby Waag, Lindsey Frantz, Jenna Rindler, Zoe Reck and Kiersten Atkinson - as well as the return of sophomores Morgan Arbogast and Jessica Dammeyer, two players who lettered last season as freshman.
The Lady Buccs also, has plenty of young talent on the varsity roster with sophomores Kenzie Atkinson and Ariel Robinson, along with freshman Erin Olson, Brooke Gostomsky and Arianna Richards.
"We have six seniors, but at the same time, we are young," Miller said. "Also, we don't have the size we had in the past, so serving and defense will be a key for us. We'll have to be scrappy to beat teams."
Covington will be challenged in the Cross County Conference by Miami East, the defending DIII State Champions and heavy favorites to win the league once again. Tri-County North and Twin Valley South also traditionally field strong teams, making the league schedule as tough as it has been in recent memory.
The Lady Buccs will also see very stiff out-of-conference competition against the likes of Versailles, Russia and Fairlawn, as well as weekend tournaments at Anna and Minster.
"Our goal is be competitive in our league," Miller said. "Obviously, Miami East is the team to beat, but we feel that if we keep working hard and keep the right attitude, we'll be competitive."
Covington begins its season on August 27th at Miller's alma mater, Fairlawn.