Coyote volleyball team boasts strong net attack

PRACTICE: Alaina Woodard works on her passing during a Monday Reed City volleyball practice. (Herald Review/John Raffel)
PRACTICE: Alaina Woodard works on her passing during a Monday Reed City volleyball practice. (Herald Review/John Raffel)

REED CITY — Reed City’s volleyball squad graduated some outstanding talent from last year’s district championship squad including Kalee Hensel and Emma Lockhart.

But coach Don Patterson has most of his team coming back including a solid hitting attack. The season begins this Saturday at the Alma Invitational and continues with the Cadillac Invitational Aug. 29. The Central State Activities Association season opens at Big Rapids on Sept. 4. The first home match is Sept. 11 with conference power Morley Stanwood.

The Coyotes have been having preseason camp all week. There are 10 players on the varsity team and 12 to 15 on the JVs.

“We have eight seniors this year which is the most seniors we’ve had in the last 20 years,” said Patterson.

Key returnees are seniors Kayla Davis, Karah Hensel, Jacolyn Mullins, Makayla Reed, Heather Tacey, Alaina Woodard, Natalie Westoff and Brittani Yarger. Hensel is libero while Tacey is the setter. The others are hitters.

“We’ll have a lot of experience,” Patterson said.

He’s looking forward to testing his team in the Alma tournament.

“Last year, Lakewood, the Class B state champ was there,” Patterson said. “I think they’re there again.”

The Coyotes hope to be CSAA contenders.

“I think Morley Stanwood is still the favorite,” he said “Then it’s White Cloud, Chippewa Hills and us, and potentially Big Rapids. They’ll be much improved.”

Experience is the strength of his team.

“Our middle, Woodard and Westhoff, are looking really good and Heather is doing a great job of setting,” Patterson said. “Jacolyn is a sound all-around player.”