Lady Trojans feature scrappy group of players

By: Nick Pecoraro Telegraph Correspondent
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Oak Ridge volleyball is back in full swing and the Lady Trojans are ready to make some noise in the Delta River League in 2012. The Lady Trojans ended their 2011 season with a 21-12 mark, which included two playoff victories in the Division I Sac-Joaquin Section bracket. Despite losing two perennial all-conference players in Haley Simmons and Alexa Becker, Oak Ridge coach Becky Potter says that this season should still be productive. “We have had exceptional practices. The girls are very competitive, very energetic, hard working and they’ve really been getting after it at practice and we know that will translate into a game,” said Potter, who is entering her fifth season roaming the sidelines for the Lady Trojans. Oak Ridge got hot in the second half of last season, winning 14-of-19 to end the season on a high note. Potter returns eight varsity players from a year ago, including four-year seniors Mysha Davies (166 kills in 2011) and Maddie Chambliss (two-time All-DRL libero). The Lady Trojans are looking for big contributions from a mixture of role players to step in and fill in the necessary gaps to make sure the team stays competitive. Tara McDermott, who led the team in assists last season, will continue to set her hitters as well as maintaining co-captain duties. Outside hitter Amelia Crye was a big reason Oak Ridge went on the second-half run that they did last season and junior middle blocker Hayley Corell is anxious to show what she can do with a little more court time. “There’s a lot of room for potential for everybody,” said Potter. Oak Ridge played in three matches last week, including the foundation game at Rio Americano on Monday and at Del Oro on Tuesday before its home opener on Thursday. The Lady Trojans went 1-2 in their first week, losing their first two matches on the road before rebounding with a four-game victory at home against Golden Sierra. “We don’t back down. We’re fighters,” said Potter. “This is one of the most competitive teams I’ve coached in a long time. There’s no doubt in my mind they’re going to go 100 percent. Our defense is very scrappy. I think our work ethic and our defense is going to surprise some people.”