Pahrump Valley Times

VOLLEYBALL Harris anxious to start season

Trojans volleyball Coach Jill Harris had a decent season last year finishing second place in the Sunset League in the new Division 1-A and going to the playoffs.

This year she is really enthusiastic to start the new season. During the summer, she said 14 girls are going to volleyball camp at Dixie State College in St. George, Utah from July 10 to July 12. At the end of summer, Dixie State will come to the high school from Aug. 6 to Aug. 8 for another camp, which will kick off the season.

Harris has a lot  to be excited about. For the first time in a couple of years she will have some height on the team, something lacking in recent years.

“We will be a little taller this year than last year,” she said. “The girls are more excited about the year. People in general are more excited about volleyball in this town. We had a kids’ camp and close to 70 kids showed up for it. We were only expecting between 35-40 kids. A good camp for us was 35. We had over 65 kids. There appears to be more of an interest and a greater interest in the sport of volleyball in this town.”

Harris said she will have returning players like Andi Bishop, Kayla Cratty, Mikayla Davis, Shayla Dance, Lauren Koenig, Alyssa Murphy, Payton Hart and Bryana Soliwoda. She said she also has a good freshman coming in named Jill Smith.

“She is a pretty talented freshman all around and could be a good setter.  She is tall. We also have a new girl coming in as the possible libero. Her name is Lauren and she comes from New Mexico. She is a new student. Everyone is excited about her, too,” Harris said.

Harris sees last year’s league leader Faith Lutheran as still strong. She hopes the added height on her team will make games between the Trojans and the Crusaders a bit more competitive.

“I think we will see some blocking this year,” she said. “I love blockers. This could translate into a more aggressive team. There is nothing better than having a player take away a great  shot with a block and your defense does not have to do a thing. We could be a blocking team. They touched a lot of balls last year and with  some confidence we  could do that this year.”

This year’s fall volleyball tournament returns better than ever. The tournament will be Sept. 7 and about 20 teams will be coming to Pahrump, which is much larger than last year. Harris secured 20 teams for the tourney by fitting the tournament into a one-day format. This means teams don’t have to travel to Pahrump twice or pay for lodging.