The evaluation process continued for Central Arkansas Christian’s volleyball program last week and should be completed in time for next week’s season opener.
Ken Roberts’ Lady Mustangs will travel to Jessieville on Monday. The first-year CAC high school coach, for several years in charge of the school’s seventh grade program, has spent the preseason getting to know his new charges and becoming reacquainted with the old ones.
"I’m looking forward to this week, which will be a full week of school and practice," Roberts said Sunday. "We’ll decide for sure who’s going to be varsity and who’s going to be JV. We know some, but we’ve still got a few more to look at."
He has 22 players out, at least nine of whom will be full-time varsity. Several others, he said, would play on both squads.
Four of the team’s six seniors are likely to be in the starting rotation, including libero Alexis Weber; back row/outside hitter Jessica McCauley; setter Hayley Nichols and outside hitter Maycee Fendley.
Juniors Sydney Jones and Rachel Basham are in the mix at middle blocker, he said, and sophomores Bailey Zini, Bethany Walker and Lauren Horton are likely varsity players.
"Bailey has been gone most of the summer playing traveling softball, and they were at the softball world series in Florida when we started practice so we didn’t see her much early, but she’s made a lot of progress," Roberts said.
He said the Lady Mustangs would run a 6-2 offense in order to get an extra hitter on the floor.
Roberts also had two days of practice with the seventh graders last week. His day starts with them from 7:30-8:30 a.m., and after a day of teaching sixth graders, he finishes with high school practice until 5:45 p.m. Each team will generally play twice a week, covering Monday through Thursday. He praised junior high coach Angela Almond and registered volunteer Lynn Brown for their work so far.
"They’ve been tremendous assets," he said. "It’s fun so far."