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When the Carroll County Lady Panthers open their volleyball season at South Oldham on Tuesday, Aug. 10, there will be several veteran faces in the lineup from last year’s 17-12 team. Gone from last year’s Class A Regional champion squad are Brooke Boles, Valerie White and Katerina Woods to graduation.
“We’ll be depending a lot on our three seniors—Jill Butcher, Kyndal Curry and Tasha Hunter,” second-year Head Coach Kristen Arbinger said. “We’ll be building a lot of our strategy this year around Kyndal. She’s used to that pressure.”
In addition to the seniors, Arbinger expects to see good efforts from juniors Leah Chandler, Alyssa Hartman and Olivia Welch; sophomores Megan Harris and Erin Spradlin; and freshman Kristen “Doodle” Amick.
“We really have a lot of talent this year,” Arbinger said. “They are really competitive girls. All of the girls have positive attitudes, all are goal-oriented. All of them keep pushing it to play better.”
Arbinger and her players have been hard at work in practice preparing for the coming season. The Lady Panthers participated in a season preview tournament in Lexington this past weekend. The event featured 70 teams from across the Commonwealth playing in several venues. Each team was guaranteed of playing six games regardless of winning or losing.
“You play some teams you’ll never see again and that’s exciting,” Arbinger said. “It’s a very neat experience.”
The young coach said several of Carroll’s opponents, including Trimble County, Gallatin County and Walton-Verona, have been stepping up their volleyball programs.
“Every season it seems like every team brings something different to the table. We’re fortunate to be in a region where volleyball is becoming more popular all the time,” Arbinger said. “We’re seeing more younger girls in volleyball camps. The girls that are involved have an increased focus, and that makes my job easier.”
Carroll County will host Trimble County in a preseason scrimmage, Aug. 4 at 5:30 p.m. The Lady Panthers will host Williamstown in their home opener on Thursday, Aug. 12.
“We’re hoping to be very competitive,” Arbinger said. “I’m really excited to see what the season brings.”