Categorized | Sports

Striving for Six

[/media-credit] Cecily Gable

The past five seasons the Munford Lady Cougars have been a fixture in the TSSAA Class 3A Volleyball Sub-State round.

The Lady Cougars have two trips to State during that run. As the 2012 season approaches, third-year Head Coach Nina Makris said a sixth straight appearance might be in jeopardy.

“I feel comfortable, I think we’ll be successful in our district,” she said. “But once we get to our Region, the last couple of years we have been one of the favorites. This year I don’t even know if we are one of the favorites at all.

“Bartlett, I’m not sure how many seniors they’ve lost,” Makris continued. “But their strongest player was that tall freshman girl. So they’re going to be very strong. Arlington just got a great coach who moved in from Bolton. We’ve been to Sub-State every year that I’ve coached. There’s no guarantee we’ll get that far this year. We have to play well in the tournament.”

Before Makris took over the program, Mike Anderson guided the Lady Cougars to three Sub-State appearances earning a spot in the final eight in 2007.

In 2010, Makris pulled off the feat of reaching State in her first year in charge. Last year after the departure of Crystal Williams and Scarlet Gable, Munford earned a spot in the Sub-State round losing to Houston.

Makris said she has planned trips to the Collierville Tournament and River City Classic to see competition on the level of a Houston or Collierville. Those teams have been the bookends for Sectionals from Region 8.

In recent history the Lady Cougars have been the class of Region 7-3A. There for most of that success have been seniors Sami Jo Schulz, Lauren Zvolanek and Kelsey Hale. The trio of seniors will be joined by fellow classmate Cori Salois for leadership on and off the court.

Makris said she wishes the overall numbers of her program were up, but the 14 players committed to Lady Cougar Volleyball will fight to keep the Sub-State streak going.

Other Lady Cougars looking to be in the rotation this season are Laura Leavell, Jodie Duncan, Lily Turner, Precious Mills and sophomore standout Cecily Gable.

Gable, the younger sister of Scarlet, has a game similar to the current Belmont University standout. Cecily is a high-flyer and aggressive attacker. But unlike her older sister, she is calm and low-key between points.

“We’re probably the quietest team there is,” Makris acknowledged.  “We don’t talk like we’re supposed to. But having four seniors, they’ve played together a long time. And even our younger ones have played together. It hurts us sometimes. I wish we were louder and more intimidating.

“We don’t have any 6-footers at the net to where we’re extremely intimidating,” she added. “So we have to be efficient on our passing, our serves and on our skills.”

Makris said once the rotation gets down, the girls communicate and if they execute, a sixth appearance in Sub-State can be in the cards.

“I would like for us to get to Sub-State,” she concluded. “If we get to Sub-State it has been a successful year. I think Sub-State is always a good goal. But that’s going to take beating a Bartlett or an Arlington.”

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