Friday, August 07, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Bear volleyball replacing six seniors

Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills volleyball team will be almost entirely different from last season. The Lady Bears lost six seniors, all of who played most of the rotations, from last year’s 5A-Central third-place team. Sylvan Hills coach Harold Treadway took the team to a camp last week at Greenbrier, and learned that the new group has a lot of work to do.

“It went about like I expected it to go,” Treadway said of the team camp. “The camp was divided up with junior varsity teams going in the morning and varsity in the afternoon. The sophomores, once they got over the jitters, they did pretty good. The juniors and seniors are still trying to figure out who’s who and where’s where.”

Lack of team chemistry is not an uncommon thing for teams this early in the preseason process, but Sylvan Hills has the added work of assimilating six new players who transferred from North Pulaski.

“We have four on the varsity from North Pulaski and they’re doing a good job,” Treadway said. “I’m glad they’re here. The ones I’ve had have done a good job of helping them blend in and making them welcome. We haven’t had any problems with that so far. And the new ones seem to be enjoying their move over and enjoy playing here.”

The first official day of preseason was Monday, and the Lady Bears started it sooner than probably anyone else in the state. Sylvan Hills started at 12:01 a.m. and practiced for three hours.

“It’s something I started a couple of years ago,” Treadway said. “Something different. It’s a lock-in type situation – kind of a bonding thing. It’s something I really felt like we needed this year with all the news kids coming in. It went really well.

“We bring them in about 9 o’clock that night. We have pizza and cheese dip and sodas. We do some fun activities. Then at 12:01 we start and we go for three hours.”

Despite the all the transfers, Sylvan Hills has only two seniors and both were on the team last year. Ashley Beach and Taylor Yeoman figure heavily into Treadway’s plans, but he’s still trying to figure out what his rotations and substitutions will look like.

“We’re not settled on a starting lineup,” Treadway said. “We’re still trying to figure out who can play front line, who can play back row and who, if anyone, can go all the way around?

“I don’t know if I’m going to move any sophomores up to varsity. I don’t typically like to do that unless it’s just an exceptional athlete. But it may be a situation where I have to. I just don’t know right now. But we’re getting close.”