Tuesday, August 16, 2011

SPORTS >> Senior hitting leads progress for Beebe girls

Leader sports writer

Attacking fast is the strategy for the Beebe Lady Badgers under new coach Ashley Camp.

Camp is trying to instill a killer instinct into her club, and with a mix of sophomores and seniors that is nearly split down the middle, the results have been as expected.

“Overall, I’m seeing progress,” Camp said. “We’ve been doing some conditioning, and we’re getting past the soreness. The girls are adjusting and working hard. They’re putting out the effort. We want them to hustle and be aggressive.”

Camp has been impressed with the hitting from seniors Leslie Colbert and Madison Ward, as well as junior hitter Stephanie Pollnow.

“She’s worked well with the setters,” Camp said of Pollnow. “She will be a key hitter for us this year.”

The Lady Badgers have also picked up a key transfer in sophomore Madison Richey. Richey moved from Paragould where she came up in the junior-high system at Greene County Tech schools, and Camp has plans to use her in a utility capacity.

Injuries have also been a factor for the Beebe volleyball team in August camp. A pair of ankle injuries, including one to Morgan Henry, has been a minor setback, but nothing that should change the course of the Lady Badgers’ season.

“It’s nothing major,” Camp said. “It was due to a little overuse and some old injuries reoccurring. They’ve just needed a little rest - and some ice.”

Camp is confident in her seniors, but said most of the underclassmen will have to pay their dues in the junior-varsity ranks. Still, she said that with the makeup of this group, some of the sophomores will have to contribute early on.

“Right now, we’re still working on some of the fundamentals,” Camp said. “We’ll have to play with it some, but with not as many seniors, some of the younger girls will have to prove themselves. But they want to be out there.”

To start the season, Camp plans on playing it safe with a conservative 4-2 offense. But she hopes as the girls gain experience, she can move to a more aggressive 5-1 set, with the libero handling much of the defensive chores.

“We don’t want to have them running from the back to the front line to set it,” she said.

Camp is happy with the hitting, but would like to see more consistency in the setting. She has stressed using hands effectively in order to keep the game up tempo.

The Lady Badgers will start their season on the road with a benefit game against Marianna next Tuesday. From there, the junior-varsity squad will host Vilonia the following day before a match against Little Rock Christian Academy. The varsity girls will not host a home game until Batesville visits Badger Sports Arena on Aug. 30 to open 5A-East Conference play.

“We’re seeing a lot of good effort,” Camp said. “We hope we can take this group of individuals and lead them into becoming a team.”