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Volleyball Lady Bears Will Open Season at Sparta Tonight

The Lady Bears volleyball team traveled to Bolivar on Monday night to compete in their first volleyball jamboree.  This is the first year for all schools to compete in the event.
The jamboree format is similar to what is used in football.  The Lady Bears competed against Bolivar, Hillcrest, and School of the Osage.
Each set began at 12 points and only consisted of two sets.
The Lady Bears came out of the jamboree winless, losing to School of the Osage 19-25 & 23-25, Bolivar 17-25 & 22-25, and Hillcrest 15-25 & 22-25.
Despite the losses in three matches, the Lady Bears were able to get their first game jitters out of the way against three quality teams.  Both Bolivar and School of the Osage are in this year’s district.
“We found out we still have a lot of work to do,” said head coach Sarah Roy.  “We knew we were going to be facing some tough competition that we don’t normally play, and even though we had slow starts in all three matches I was impressed with how the girls played in each of the second sets.”
The Lady Bears have four seniors on the squad this season: Darian Bushong, Erica Croney, Courtney Mings, and Rachel Swofford.  Ava also returns five juniors: Alena Stokes, Maddie Guill, Brandee Cutbirth, Destiny Sparnicht and Dusty Graham.
Three sophomores – Bailey Loge, Hunter Shelton and Caley Wallace – are expected to earn some playing time at the varsity level.
The returning experience will help the Lady Bears as they travel to Sparta to open the season tonight (Thursday, Aug. 29) against the Lady Trojans.
On Tuesday, Sept. 3, the VolleyBears will travel to Springfield Catholic.
Catholic Athletic Director Sam Wutke said volleyball will be played at an alternate location as the school’s new gyms are not yet completed.
The Lady Irish will be playing their volleyball season at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, which is also their junior high.
“It is a brand new gym, and will be just fine, but it will be inconvenient,” Wutke says.
The physical address is 2200 W. Republic Road.
The best way for you to get there is to exit James River Expressway at the Kansas Expressway exit. Turn south to Republic Road. The school and gym are on Republic Road, on the south side of the road, about 1/2 mile west of Kansas Expressway.
The gym is a free standing building located west and south of the church and school.
The Ava girls will open their home volleyball season on Thursday, Sept. 5, vs. Spokane. This will be 9th, JV and varsity, beginning at 5 p.m.