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Lady Bulldogs looking to build on best season yet

The Belgreen High School junior varsity and varsity volleyball teams have been chosen for the 2017 season.

Last season was the best season in the program’s six-year history. The varsity Lady Bulldogs finished with a 16-14 record and made their fourth consecutive trip to the Super-Regionals, and their first-ever trip to the Sweet 16.

Teresa Whitten, now preparing for her sixth season as head coach, left the Super-Regionals full of optimism about the program’s future.

“I understood when I became the coach that it would be a process,” Whitten said. “Building a program is tough, but if I continually preach ‘process,’ then we can evaluate our success in whether or not we are continually growing and meeting goals.

“Although we lost to the number two team in the state, Decatur Heritage, we played very well. Many times there were only ninth- and tenth-graders on the court for us; that was encouraging. We are going to build on what we did that day, correcting areas we could have executed better. I have high expectations for this upcoming team, and I can not wait to see what this team can do this season.”

The junior varsity has only three returning players: Bailey Oliver, Kaley Chandler and Nora Castillo. Whitten believes  several new players will be a great addition to the program, including Megan Smith, Maria Estrada, Emmie Scott, Makayla Lane, Kelsey Wilson, Ella Wiginton, Noelle Willingham and Alyssa Ivy.

Several jayvee players who attended Super-Regionals last year will move up to varsity in 2017. Emma Dempsey, Gracie Dempsey and Bailey Wood join returning varsity players Autumn Bragwell, Katie Dempsey, Ansley Tate, Kaycee Wilson and Camie Terrell. The Lady Bulldogs have a returning senior, Callie Barber, and a newcomer in Hailey Vandervort, another senior.

Practices begin next week, and Belgreen will host a summer play date with several schools on July 11. Both teams will have several play dates during the month of July.

The 2017 season kicks off August 31 with a varsity tri-match against Tishomingo County and Colbert County. Belgreen is also hosting its first-ever tournament on September 16, as well as participating in four other tournaments.

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