LEROY – Pine River’s volleyball attack this season has been bolstered by the presence of five seniors on the roster, including versatile athlete Christie Nelson.

She’s in her second volleyball season and is specializing in the back row.

Also a basketball player and an all-stater in softball, Nelson spent a lot of time in that sport during the offseason.

But Nelson likes the way the volleyball season has progressed.

“I think we’re connecting really good,” she said, adding that her serve receiving and passing are among her key strengths.

She wants to improve on her serving and digging.

The Bucks have struggled in recent matches, including at the Benzie Central and Pine River invitationals and in a 3-0 Highland conference loss to Beal City. But Nelson has seen some promising aspects to the season.

“We can potentially by the end of the season win the conference tournament,” Nelson said. “Mostly right now, (the key) is our hitting. I think our passing is doing pretty good.”

A factor in her team’s favor, Nelson said, is having most of the players back from a year ago. “We all know each other,” Nelson said. “We’ve all played each other since we were little.”

That applies, Nelson, said, not only to volleyball but also in basketball and softball where just about the same girls are playing.