Lady Dawgs Volleyball to host annual alumni game Friday night
By TJ MAXWELL
The Copperas Cove Lady Dawgs will officially kick off their 2021 campaign with their annual Meet the Lady Dawgs and Alumni Game tonight beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Bulldawg Gymnasium.
The Lady Dawgs lost some key cogs to graduation last year from their squad that finished 12-8 overall and 10-5 in District 12-6A in the topsy-turvy season that was truncated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senior setter Emily Vanderpoel, who led the team in assists with 443; along with two of the top four hitters; Larissa Melendez (161 kills) and Jasmine Davis (159 kills), were lost to graduation. Defensive specialists Sydney Montana and Jae Rogers and outside hitter Hope Chapman also graduated.
However, head coach Cari Lowery brings back her two-time Defensive MVP senior Emma Wasiak (520 digs, 542 serves received - both team highs), her top hitter in senior Jiya Edwards (164 kills), her fourth best hitter and no. 1 blocker senior Kyra Gaston (152 kills, 118 blocks), and her junior setter Jakhi Smith, who was second to Vanderpoel with 271 assists.
Also coming back are senior hitters Jade Chapman and Jamesia Moody. Moody added 25 kills last year and 25 blocks while Chapman had seven blocks and 14 kills in just 14 sets played. Defensive specialist senior Leann Edmond (115 digs, 159 serves received) also returns to add experience to that back line with Wasiak.
Junior hitter Aaliyah Butler is the final returner. She had 34 blocks and 15 kills in her 52 sets played as a sophomore.
Some new additions to this year’s squad are junior defensive specialist Myca Hall, junior hitters Ashanti Wright, Leila Cooks and Kylee Perez, and seniors Maliyah Tate and Melanie Malave. Come out tonight to see what other new additions there are.
After tomorrow tonight’s alumni game, the Lady Dawgs won’t have to wait too long to get back to action as they host Cedar Creek to open up the non-district slate Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m.
There are currently just six non-district games slated before District 12-6A play opens on Friday, Sept. 17 with a home match against defender district champions Harker Heights where the Lady Dawgs will begin their journey to reclaim their District 12-6A crown.