As Chelsi Arnold begins her second year as the head volleyball coach at Ranger High School, she expects the Lady Bulldogs to be much improved this season.
“We will be stronger defensively,” Arnold said. “We will be a more mature and experienced team this year. We are a very scrappy team. Not many balls hit the floor.”
Ranger, which was 6-13 overall last year and 0-4 in district, are playing in a revised nine-team District 6-2A. Possibly as many as six of those teams, however, are in Class 1A and will advance to the 1A playoffs, leaving Ranger as one of just three Class 2A teams along with Albany and Hawley that are competing for playoff spots in Class 2A.
Despite its 0-4 district record, Ranger made the 2A playoffs as the third-place team a year ago and received a first-round bye before losing 3-1 to Coleman in the area round.
Leading the way for the Lady Bulldogs is junior outside hitter Kylie Beighley, who topped Ranger in kills last season. Senior outside hitter Brooke Huffman, who also plays on the back row, is the team’s top returning leader in digs. Outside hitter/setter Kirsten Fox is the Lady Bulldogs’ top returning leader in assists.
Other key returnees for Ranger include sophomore outside hitter/back row player Liberty Harmon, outside hitter/back row player Arzul Hawvermale and outside hitter/setter Hallie Ellerbe.
Arnold said her team’s biggest weakness is “recovering after a bad pass.”