MAN — The Man High School volleyball team surprised many last season by advancing to the Class A state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
The Lady Billies lost in the opening round and finished with a record of 25-22-1.
The first-round exit, however, was not a disappointment.
It was Man’s best season of volleyball since 2000 when the Lady Billies won 33 matches. Man also became the first girls’ volleyball team from Logan County to ever reach the state tournament.
Expectations are high again this year for Man which returns seven players.
Returning to the court this season are: senior Mika McCoy; junior Hannah Harvey; sophomore Hunter Harvey; junior Tiffany Belcher; junior Summer Combs; sophomore Shauntae Miller; and junior Katie Curry.
Man volleyball coach Orlando Washington said his team has also been bolstered by a group of newcomers.
“I have a total of 18 players this year which is the most I have ever had,” Washington said. “I have nine freshmen, one sophomore and one junior to go along with the returning players. Some of the new girls are in the mix for playing time so it is a exciting time for Man High School volleyball.”
The Lady Billies are scheduled to open the season on Wednesday, Sept. 3 with the Logan County Open. Man will battle in the tri-match against county foes Logan and Chapmanville.
“I think that this year’s team has the potential to do great things if the focus is there and if they commit to not making as many mistakes as we have made in the past — both mental and physical,” Coach Washington said.
Washington said this year’s version of the Man volleyball team has the potential to reach even higher goals this season.
“My goals for this team is for us to play at much higher level this year more consistently,” he said. “My other goals are for this group to win the sectional and regional championships. If our goal is to be state champions then we need to do those things. We also want to make it back to the state tournament and win at least one match and after that anything is possible.”
Man’s nine freshmen players are: Sasha Moody; Brooke Burgess; Ashley Vest; Morgan Muncy; Breona Childress; Kelsey Curry; Mikaela Short; Lauren Zealy; and Maddy Paynter.
Of the non-returning players, the Lady Billies’ lone sophomore netter is Courtney Hinkle. The only junior is Ashley Blair.
In order to reach their goals, Coach Washington said his team must dig down deep and work hard throughout the season.
“My team is not hungry enough right now,” he said. “We need to develop an edge that will not let us except failure and mistakes as much as we do. If we can cut back and progress to the point were everyone says that’s one of the best teams in Single-A then we will be heading in the right direction. I believe that our time is now, but my team has to understand that good teams are good because they work harder than everybody else and failure is not an option. The light has to be turned on at all times.”
2014 Man High School
Sept. 3: Logan, Chapmanville, 6 p.m.
Sept. 4: at Charleston Catholic Quad Match (vs. Nicholas County, CC and Elk Valley Christian), 6 p.m.
Sept. 9: at Chapmanville, 6 p.m.
Sept. 11: at Greater Beckley Christian, 6 p.m.
Sept. 16: at Teays Valley Christian Tri-Match (vs. Teays Valley, Calvary Christian), 6 p.m.
Sept. 18: Westside, 6 p.m.
Sept. 23: at Sherman, 6 p.m.
Sept. 25: at Logan, 6 p.m.
Sept. 27: at Greenbrier East Tournament, 9 a.m.
Oct. 2: Teays Valley Christian, 6 p.m.
Oct. 7: at Westside, 6 p.m.
Oct. 9: Charleston Catholic, 6 p.m.
Oct. 11: at Charleston Catholic Tournament, 9 a.m.
Oct. 16: Sherman, 6 p.m.
Oct. 18: at Buffalo Tournament, 9 a.m.
Oct. 21: Greater Beckley Christian, 6 p.m.
Oct. 28: Buffalo, 6 p.m.
HEAD COACH: Orlando Washington