Lady Longhorns have look of conference contender

Asst. Sports Editor

  The Johnson County High School varsity volleyball team is poised to do well this season, and possibly contend for the Watauga Conference crown.
  "We are doing all right, I think," senior Amy Shutt said. "We are talking somewhat and still coming back together. We still have to talk more, but we are doing all right. Blocking is another thing we need to work on. I need to definitely if I am going to start."
  Seniors Laura Peters (OH/MB), who is team captain, Shutt (OH) and Kristy Chappell (DS) will be leading the Longhorn team, as will junior Ryann Tillman (MH).
  Alysa Billings (setter), Ashley Howard (MH), Katie Nelson (OH/MB) and Sarah Wright (OH) round out the juniors on the squad, with Amy Cardwell (DS), sophomore, being the only lowerclassman on the squad.
  Head coach Michele Cooke will be leading the squad again this season along with assistant coach Mischelle Simcox.
  "They can start communicating all the time and talking to each other," Cooke said. "That is our biggest hurdle. We are our biggest hindrance, not anybody else. I think we can play with anybody. That is the nature of the game."
  The team made a good showing at the jamboree last week at Dobyns-Bennett, even though half of its squad was sick. Peters said that being captain of the squad isn't as important to her as being good teammates.
  "I know that everybody is looking up to me," Peters said. "I am making sure that I keep everybody straight and knowing what they are doing wrong. It's a really big job but I know that it is a lot of teamwork and everything. I mean, I do things wrong too and they help me. I learn new things every day."
  "We are not communicating as well as I thing we should be," she said. "We have had a few let downs from not talking, but the team we are, we are able to come back talking and keep working on that."
  Junior Wright agreed with her teammates that communication, and not skill, will be the biggest hindrance of the team.
  "I think we need to work on talking," Wright said. "We get really pepped up when we are doing good, but the thing is, we get down on ourselves when things go wrong. We are going to work on that this season, hopefully.
  "I am hoping we will do really well in the conference this year. We have very strong defensive players and very strong offensive players. If we can just get our talking down I think we can finish up there."