Rogers High volleyball preview

NWA Democrat-Gazette/MICHAEL WOODS • @NWAMICHAELW Rogers volleyball players Emily Harris (13) from left, Litzy Artega (7) Madelyn Tauai (8) and Hannah Martin (6) celebrate Tuesday, October 18, 2016 after beating Springdale in the first set during their gang in Springdale.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/MICHAEL WOODS • @NWAMICHAELW
Rogers volleyball players Emily Harris (13) from left, Litzy Artega (7) Madelyn Tauai (8) and Hannah Martin (6) celebrate Tuesday, October 18, 2016 after beating Springdale in the first set during their gang in Springdale.

 

ROGERS — The Lady Mounties return all but one starter from a team that advanced to the Class 7A state volleyball tournament quarterfinals, but some won’t be playing the same positions.<br><br>

Rogers, who finished 24-14, may have lost just one starter, but it was a key one in setter Madison Sherrill, coach Christina Lawrence said.<br><br>

“It’s like losing the pitcher in baseball or quarterback in football,” Lawrence said. “They touch the ball on every play.”<br><br>

Senior Madelyn Tauai, who started on the right side last year, has been working at the setter position, along with senior all-state outside hitter Hannah Martin. Lawrence said those two will likely do the majority of the setting. The team has ran a 5-1 offense with Tauai or 6-2 utilizing both at times, Junior Tori Bayles provides depth at that spot.<br><br>

Junior Anna Randels is another returner who will switch roles. She started at libero a year ago, but will also play in the front row this season. Juniors Julia Smith and Alexa Albarran  are both working at the libero spot.<br><br>

“Both Julia and Alexa are still learning how to play defense and read,” Lawrence said. “But they are both good passers and super athletic.”<br><br

Rogers returns multiple strong front row players with plenty of size. Senior middles Alex Parish (6-feet) and Emily Harris (6-3) pair with the 5-10 Martin and 5-10 senior Kassidy Wall. But getting the ball to them is the biggest key.<br><br>

Harris has verbally committed to play at West Texas A&M and Martin has done the same to run track and also play volleyball at Colorado School of Mines.<br><br>

Lawrence, who is in her second season at Rogers High, said passing was inconsistent in a benefit match against Greenwood,  who will be one of the top teams in Class 6A. <br><br>

“One thing I liked from the benefit match is we’re in really good shape,” Lawrence said. “We played hard for five sets, so that’s a positive. But we struggled passing. But our biggest focus is being unselfish. We need more cohesive play as a team.

Lawrence, who is in her second season at Rogers High, said passing was inconsistent in a benefit match against Greenwood,  who will be one of the top teams in Class 6A. <br><br>

“One thing I liked from the benefit match is we’re in really good shape,” Lawrence said. “We played hard for five sets, so that’s a positive. But we struggled passing. But our biggest focus is being unselfish. We need more cohesive play as a team.<br><br>

“We have a long way to go, but a whole season to get there.”<br><br>

Rogers High opens the regular season by hosting Farmington on Tuesday evening.<br><br>

Paul Boyd

Paul Boyd

Sports Reporter at NWA Media
Paul Boyd is a sports reporter for NWA Media. His primary beat is Rogers Heritage, as well as West Fork and Gentry.
Paul Boyd

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