Sylvan Hills returned to the court Sunday night with their 2nd annual "Lady Bear Volleyball Vacation" the brainchild of coach Harold Treadway for team building and extended practice time.

The Lady Bears this year will be led by a group of seven seniors that have ample playing experience.

"Lots of playing experience. [We have] several who have played varsity for 2 years, so the experience and leadership will be good for the younger girls," Treadway said.

Coming off a State Tournament quarterfinals appearance last year in Alma, the Lady Bears look to keep the momentum high with retuning starters like Seniors Brooke Rainey and Karlie Walton who will be asked to step up and lead the team. Another Senior, Jamia Willis, will step into the role of Labero for the Lady Bears after last year’s transferred.

"She’s worked very hard in the offseason, and consistently stays after practice taking extra balls to improve," Treadway said of Willis, who was awarded the Labero jersey.

With 20 girls currently on roster for the Lady Bears, it will allow a more healthy rotation which will lead to a more rested line-up late in sets, which will be needed in the newly re-aligned 5A Central which lost Helena and Little Rock Christian, and gains Beebe and JA Fair.

In the new 5A Central, the Lady Bears will have to contend with always tough Pulaski Academy, Jacksonville, and newcomer Beebe, but Treadway is expecting his girls to show up and compete every night for a conference championship.

"I see us competing for a conference championship if we go out and do what I think we’re capable of doing and what they think they’re capable of doing," he said.

Sylvan Hills will have practice this and next week with school starting on Aug. 18 before the season starts at Greenbrier.

— Bobby Smith