Caroline Cleveland, a former standout at Abilene High, takes over as the new head volleyball coach at her alma mater. She inherits a team with eight returning starters that went 4-13 overall and 2-10 in District 2-6A a year ago.
“Compared to last year, this team will be mentally tough,” Cleveland emphasized. “The culture will be different along with the leadership academy that my coaches and I will implement. This will not only happen in the high school setting but the middle school as well. We want the girls to thrive on and off the court.”
Senior outside hitter Gentri Anderson (99 kills) and 6-2 middle blocker Jadyn Hernandez will lead the Lady Eagles’ attack. Cleveland called sophomore middle blocker Mia Cairo “a great addition to the varsity. She will be a good and upcoming player to watch.”
Senior Maddie Perez led the team with 171 digs last year.
“Maddie is a great libero,” Cleveland said. “She moves swiftly on the court and is very consistent in picking up the heated balls.”
Sophomore Shea Bruntmyer was the team leader with 211 assists as a freshman.
“Shea is a great setter,” Cleveland added. “She plays on a Junior Olympic team for a club based out of Dallas.”
Cleveland noted the Lady Eagles have many players who are athletic and play multiple sports, so getting them to have an off-season is hard.
“But AHS encourages multi-sport athletes,” she continued. “We are a balanced team..This means our setters will have a hard time picking who to set since we have such a good caliber team of hitters.”