Lady Blue Eagles volleyball hopes to take another step forward this season

Published 7:02 am Monday, August 20, 2007

By BY BRUCE HIXON – sports editor
Last season Britney Shelly took the W.S. Neal Lady Blue Eagles volleyball program to accomplishments it had never achieved.
They set a school record for wins. They beat county rival Flomaton along with Opp for the first time. Their 9-9 record was the first non-losing season in the five-year history of the program.
Perhaps an even more daunting challenge for Shelly and the Lady Blue Eagles this season is if they can keep things going in the right direction.
While Shelly hopes to keep the W.S. Neal program marching forward this season, she also knows that will not be easy after the Lady Blue Eagles graduated four starters. Even the two starters W.S. Neal returns, senior Maggie Crutchfield and junior Caitlyn Blackman, are slated for different positions this seasons.
The 5-10 Crutchfield, who has been a three-year-starter, has been shifted from the middle hitter position to an outside hitter.
comfortable. We're going to try to create some mismatches. Maggie will probably be taller than a lot of the outside hitters she goes up against,” said Shelly.
While Crutchfield goes from the middle to outside, the 5-7 Blackman has been moved from outside to middle.
Amanda Crawford, a 5-8 freshman, and Hillary Dantzler, a 5-8 junior, are expected to compete for the other outside hitter spot opposite of Crutchfield.
Casey Wilson, a 5-8 sophomore, is targeted to fill the other middle hitter role along with Blackman.
Malary Booker and Sydney Andrews, both 5-6 freshmen, will handle the setter chores.
Shelly is also expecting contributions from Katie Goolsby, a 5-6 senior outside hitter, Brittany Revel, a 5-5 freshman outside hitter, and Megan Pence, a 5-4 sophomore outside hitter.
Probably the biggest highlight on the Lady Blue Eagles slate comes at the end of the regular season when W.S. Neal hosts the Escambia County Tournament Oct. 13.
W.S. Neal returns to Class 4A Area 2 competition with T.R. Miller and defending Area champ Andalusia.

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