By David Green
DRAFFENVILLE – High school volleyball action gets under way this evening, with Caldwell County visiting Marshall County for a 7 p.m. match.
Christian Fellowship begins play Friday and Saturday in the Apollo Invitational at Owensboro. The Lady Marshals will also compete in that event.
Tiny Christian Fellowship proved itself a capable competitor last year, winning two of seven district games and posting a 9-10 mark in the region with a sweep of three games against Graves County, a pair of wins over Heath and two victories against district opponent Calloway County.
The season ended for coach Suzie Burnett’s team at 12-13 with a first-round loss in the district tournament to Murray.
Setter Cammi Dunn is the only starter not returning for the Lady Eagles, with a trio of seniors – Jordan Beale, Megan Wagner and Rachel Waller – back to form a solid, experienced nucleus.
“We have five returning starters from last year,” Burnett said, noting that Kathryn Beale and Macall Key started last year as freshmen.
“They have quite a bit of experience among them and are all well-rounded players,” she said. “My girls are hard workers and I have a lot of confidence in them.”
Marshall County is the defending champion of the Fourth District, which also includes Christian Fellowship, Calloway County and Murray.
The Lady Marshals were 18-17 last year, with a perfect 8-0 mark in district play and a 13-5 record in the First Region.
The season ended with a second-round loss in the region tournament to eventual champion Lone Oak, which gets the favorite’s nod again this season.
Coach Shannon Gipson will have to replace six starters lost from last year’s senior-dominated team, but has four juniors with considerable experience to build around.
The players are Savannah Adrian, Madison Grammer, Markea McKendree and Rachel Reed.
Marshall won a pair of 2-1 victories over Christian Fellowship last year, winning 25-18, 22-25, 25-11 at MCHS in the season opener for both squads Aug. 12 and sweeping at CFS 25-7, 22-25, 25-10 on Sept. 9.
The two teams meet this year on Sept. 20 at CFS and Oct. 4 at Marshall.