REED CITY — Practices started last Wednesday for the Reed City volleyball team, but coach Don Patterson is already getting his team ready for action.

The Coyotes open their season this Friday at the Ludington Invitational. They are also at the Cadillac Invitational on Aug. 27. Central State Activities Association Gold Division action starts Sept. 1 at Big Rapids.

The first home match is Sept. 15 with Newaygo.

There were around 23 girls trying out last week with coaches determining how many to keep.

“It depends on skills set,” Patterson said. “If there’s 15 kids that are talented we’ll keep 15. There’s been years there’s only been eight that were skilled enough. There’s some things I know and things I don’t know.”

Reed City had only two returning seniors last season. This year, the Coyotes return four seniors Megan Donley (hitter). Liza Emington (setter), Hanna Price (passer) and Ally Yarger (all-around).

“Donley will probably be the rightside hitter,” Patterson said. “She’ll be our go-to kid in the front row. Hanna will be our primary passer and a defensive sparkplug. She and Yarger will share outside hitting duties.”

Junior Meghan Borst (hitter) and sophomore Jordyn Storch (setter) are also returning players.

Reed City graduated Skiler Brigham and Alison Schermerhorn from last year.

“We lose a little height from last year,” Patterson said. “We lose a little firepower with Alison. That will be hard to replace her offense, and her passing and defense. Hanna, Yarger and Donley worked really hard this summer on their passing.

Patterson was determining last week the other players that would be on varsity.

“Some of it is just positional,” he said. “I don’t really need another setter right now. I have two established setters. We’re looking for somebody else to play rightside for us. We’re looking for another middle. Borst will be our one middle. We’re looking for more defense. Whoever can fill those positions (will be brought up). We need to get bigger on the right side. We need to block a little better there. I think Megan Donley will help that. She’ll be our go-to kid in the front row.”

This week, Reed City was set to have its team bonding camp at the school noon starting on Sunday and staying until noon Wednesday.

“We get an awful lot done,” Patterson said. “The kids really love it. It was (former player) Jordyn Mason’s brainchild. The football players do it. It’s settled in as a fixture. They look forward to it. We’re blessed we have parents willing to sleep on the cement floor, come in and cook morning, noon and night.”