• Lady Blues head volleyball coach Maci Faulk talks to her team following the conclusion of the first day of practice on Wednesday, Aug. 1. Graham lost seven seniors from last season’s 34-7 team that went three rounds into the postseason. The team opens the season at Springtown Tuesday, Aug. 7. Leader photo by Travis Martinez

Practice officially begins for Lady Blues volleyball team

Seeking their third consecutive district title, the Lady Blues welcomed the new season with two-a-day practices beginning last Wednesday.

Head coach Marci Faulk liked the way her young roster handled the stress and build-up to the start of a new season on the first day of practice.

“I thought the very first hours on Wednesday that we had a great practice,” Faulk said. “Of course the girls are all on fire and energized and that’s exciting to see that they are ready to get after it.”

Faulk inherits a young team for this year. Graham lost seven talented seniors from last year’s 34-win team, two of the 2017 seniors, Jasmine Sims and Alyssa Hutcheson, are now a part of collegiate volleyball programs.

Even though the Lady Blues lost several talented players from a year ago, Faulk will count on incoming seniors Avery Iles, Jillian Wendel, Celeste Aguirre and Emma Ranger to emerge as leaders. Several players will transition from a junior varsity team, which only lost one game a year ago, to the varsity lineup.

“The girls that are moving into that varsity spot, all have played a lot of volleyball over the years leading up to this season,” she said. “This is a pretty confident group. They just have to understand that the game is a different speed and moves at a faster pace than compared to other levels under the varsity. It will be interesting to see how we handle and adjust to that, but I feel very comfortable with what we are replacing in those roles from a season ago.”

Faulk knows that having to replace several playmakers will be a....

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