High expectations set for volleyball team of 14 seniors, 1 junior


Karla Sprague

Seniors Kenleigh Hall (23) and Caylan Koons (3) block the ball against the Springdale Bulldogs on Oct. 5. The Wildcats defeated Springdale in three straight sets in the conference match.

One junior and 14 seniors lined up for varsity volleyball team in the home opener against Greenwood on Aug. 24. According to head volleyball coach Cassie Lloyd, the bar has been set high for this group. 

“We have a very strong group of seniors on the court and off the court,” Lloyd said. “Our practices are very competitive. They’re great leaders, so we’re really excited to have them in the gym this year.”

Lloyd has high expectations for them because they have been with her for three years, and they are almost all seniors now. Furthermore, four of the players have  already committed to colleges, with more in the works. These seniors have grown, been in the program, and seen how it works since they were sophomores.

“I think we all used to be, obviously, not as close as we are now. I feel like throughout the years, we have come together and learned to play even better together,” senior Lily Sharp said. “We’ve grown on and off the court, and we’ve gotten so close.”

Sharp has grown close with everyone on the team and hopes to keep those friendships for life. 

“As long as they have really great experiences and have fun with what they’re doing, building great relationships, and having a good time with each other,” Lloyd said, “that’s really what we want them to be able to look back on.”

Lloyd doesn’t just want them to be great at volleyball. She wants them to become good people and maintain their friendships. She also wants them to have fun because they will only be in high school once. 

Senior Maddux McCrackin has grown so much with the people she plays volleyball with, she is comfortable talking to them about something if they’ve done something wrong, or if they do something good, she tells them.  

“My voice can talk them through what’s happening in the middle of the game,” McCrakin said. “I’m able to work with my teammates and do what we need to do.”

The Wildcats have continued to do what they needed to do and have remained undefeated after sweeping Southside (7-5) on Oct. 12 in three straight sets. Two conference match-ups remain with the Cats facing the Rogers Mounties (6-6) on Oct. 14 and the Fayetteville Bulldogs (11-1) on Oct. 19. The Cats are 12-0 in conference and 25-0 overall.