Published 6:03 am Wednesday, August 10, 2016

When Allison McCain was hired over the summer, her coaching duties involved softball and volleyball. She gets to begin one of those next week.

The Water Valley volleyball team will start its season Tuesday when the Blue Devils host Lafayette to usher in a new era, but they look to continue the momentum they built at the end of the previous era with former coach Casey Clouse.

The Blue Devils finished last season with a 12-3 record and won the Region 2-1A/3A championship going undefeated at 5-0 and advancing to the second round of the MHSAA Class I playoffs. They fell to St. Joseph’s in straight sets.

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“We’ve got a lot of talent,” McCain said. “A lot of raw talent, and the girls love it. They get out there and give 100 percent in everything, and they’re ready to play ball and compete.”

Water Valley lost three seniors to graduation, but the expectation, McCain said, is that Savannah McGavock, Chloe Hainsey and Sara Beth Adams will “come in and take charge” along with Jayla Murphy and Katelyn Stanford to help be leaders this season.

Same expectations
Expectations vary for teams when it comes to how a first season with a new coach will go. Some teams are loaded with enough talent to make a deep run towards a championship. Others acknowledge it will be a season of growing pains as both players and coach going through a feeling-out process.

For Water Valley, McCain sees no reason her team would take any steps back from the progress that was made with the program a year ago.

“I’d love to see (the same results) as last year if not go further,” McCain said. “I think the girls are very capable of it. It’s just a matter of them knowing they can do it and put forth the work to get past the second round of the playoffs.”

Water Valley and Lafayette’s match will take place at 6 p.m. at the Water Valley High School multipurpose building.