Lady Mohawk Volleyball Season Underway
The Piggott Lady Mohawks were scheduled to kick-off the 2014 campaign on Tuesday, Aug. 26, as they hosted the Pocahontas Lady Redskins in non-conference volleyball action at PHS. The Tribe, under second year head coach Nikki Speer, is once again poised to make a run into the 3A state tournament this fall and will look to a veteran group of returning players.
"We're looking pretty good so far," Speer noted of the team's preparation. "We did lose those five seniors but we've got seven seniors this year who played as juniors last year--and they are the defending conference champions. So, there's a lot of expectation for them to do that again, and I know they're very capable."
This year's squad includes McKenzie Hopkins, Alexa DeHart, Abby Holcomb, Bailey Pollard, Quest Emerson, Jess Mallard, Shelby Chavez, MaKalia Beck, Maddie Chandler, Holly Boyd, Molly Daffron, Payton Wilson, Megan Johnson, Grayson Murray, Colby Crossfield and Brooke Moore.
The Lady Mohawks will also be facing new conference foes, as 3A-Northeast was re-aligned following last season with the exit of Harrisburg as the Lady Hornets moved up to 4A. "Losing Harrisburg is the biggest change we'll have in conference," she observed. "Gaining Midland and Cedar Ridge, to me, is just gaining a couple of long road trips."
Along with the newest members of the conference, the Mohawks will also be competing with several familiar foes in Hoxie, Crowley's Ridge Academy, Walnut Ridge and Ridgefield Christian.
But Speer, who is assisted by Melissa Turner again this year, notes one of the Mohawk's strong points this season is their work ethic. "I was really pleased with the attendance we had during the summer," Speer noted. "They showed up two days a week for water workout, and I'd like to thank the Piggott Public Pool for allowing us to do that, and every Monday night we'd open the gym and have several kids show-up. They were very fateful about the work they did this summer."
Hopefully, the extra conditioning will pay dividends this fall as the Mohawks will look to return, once again, to the 3A state tourney. "I've had a chance to see everyone but Hoxie this summer, and I like our chances," Speer added. "We're also looking forward to playing in a tournament at Harrison in a couple of weeks, and we'll have a chance to see some of the top 3A teams in the state--some of the same ones we expect to see in the state tournament."
Prior to the tournament at Harrison, set for Saturday, Sept. 13, the Tribe is scheduled to host Pocahontas, followed by Midland, and will then visit Ridgefield Christian in conference play. The set with Midland is scheduled for this Thursday, Aug. 28, at PHS with the Ridgefield Christian match set for Thursday, Sept. 11, at Jonesboro as play resumes following the Labor Day holiday.
The seventh grade, and junior high, teams are also scheduled to be in action against Pocahontas, Midland and Ridgefield Christian as well. "We only lost three freshmen from last year's junior high team," she explained. "We get back a good core of players from the junior high squad, and this year's bunch of seventh graders is just outstanding."
The junior high and seventh grade roster includes Ally Kilbreath, Hannah Powell, Lexi Herren, Emily Trosper, Emily Massey, Reagan Ralph, Sidney Risinger, Georgina Bautista, Alexis Russell, Aaron Fry, Bailey Davis, Ashley Jeffries, Paige Choate, Amber Trammell, Harley Earnheart, Madison Rahn, Taylor Seal and Carlie Vancil, Maggie Williams, Tessa Holcomb, Ashley Roberts, Kaylee Smith, Aliya Shultz, Jordan Tate, Shi Higdon, Kirsten Smith, Faith Waymon, Haley Miller, Madison Bowers and Kassidy Krause.
The junior high squad will take part in their district tournament beginning Oct. 18, and on Tuesday, Oct. 21 the varsity squad will wrap up the regular season, and observe senior night, as they host the perennially tough Lady Blazers of Valley View at PHS.