By Garth Shanklin
The Bethel-Tate Lady Tigers volleyball team struggled throughout the 2015 season, but the start of a new school year signifies a fresh start.
Last year, the team won just two games, both against the Ripley Lady Jays. The team opened their regular-season campaign this year with a tri-match at home against Mariemont and Georgetown, and while they lost both games, the play was night and day, according to head coach Jim Coombs.
“We played so much better than last year, we think that we should have at least won one of those matches,” Coombs said. “I said ‘Hey, that will come. Working together and being together all the time will help you in the future and you’ll win those close matches.’”
The team is fairly balanced, with three seniors leading a group of three sophomores and a pair of freshman. However, Coombs said those freshman have a bit of experience playing volleyball against more competitive teams.
“The two freshman both played club ball last year, so they’re used to playing at a higher level,” Coombs said.
One of the team’s two freshman, Madison Schooley, caught Coombs’ eye for her play during the tri-match.
“I didn’t see her play last year at all all, and she performed well,” Coombs said. “She’s not afraid to hit, and she’s a great server.”
The team has set up a simple set of goals for this season: proving others wrong. They want to show people that they are better than the last few seasons have shown.
“Their goals are to win more games than they did last year,” Coombs said. “To me, it’d be disappointing if they won two matches this year. As hard as they worked over the summer, we have great senior leadership and even with having three sophomores and two freshman as the other five players, they feel like they’re going to produce this year. They’re going to win.”
Bethel-Tate’s next shot at victory comes on Saturday, Aug. 27 at noon in Ripley against the Lady Jays. That match is also a part of a tri-match, and the Tigers will face the Felicity Lady Cardinals that same afternoon.