EBEN - The Superior Central Cougars volleyball team is entering the season a little short-handed, but coach Kris Bray is hoping to make the most out of the upcoming season, and prove that strength is not always synonymous with numbers.
The Cougars only have seven players on the roster, because two of the returning players are currently injured.
"I haven't decided whether or not to bring anyone up from jayvee yet," Bray said. "But what it really comes down to is, I have a small team in numbers.
"So that means a lot of playing time, communicating well with each other, and being in good shape. The goal is to keep everyone in good condition, because they will be getting a lot of playing time. I will really only have one sub."
The players returning to their squad from last year include Lindsey Richmond, who will be returning to her role as setter; Kelsey Coleman, a middle hitter entering her third year of varsity play; multi-sport athlete Vanessa Freberg will be a middle hitter and blocker; and Kyla Johns will be an outside hitter.
New additions to the team are Becca Wells and Teslyn Tyner, both securing the outside and back row, and Mikayla Barrows, who will be primarily an outside hitter and occasionally helping out in the role of setter.
Aug 18 - at Munising Tournament; Aug. 28 - at Munising; Aug. 30 - Big Bay de Noc
Sept. 6 - North Central; Sept. 13 - at Engadine; Sept. 18 - at Bark River Harris; Sept. 22 - at Escanaba; Sept. 24 - at Engadine; Sept. 27 - Mid-Peninsula;
Oct. 2 - Munising; Oct. 4 - Rapid River/Carney-Nadeau; Oct. 8 - Bark River Harris; Oct. 10 - Tri at Rapid River, with Carney Nadeau; Oct. 11 - Ishpeming; Oct. 22 - at North Central; Oct. 25 - at Mid Peninsula
According to Bray, there is a lot of anticipation throughout the entire team heading into the volleyball season.
"I think it's going to be very competitive," she said. "Rapid River is very strong and I expect that they'll be right up there. Bark River was right up there (last season), and I don't remember how many (players) they graduated, but I expect them to be competitive. Every year, it seems to be more and more tough. I think we are all going to be closely matched."