Rick Erickson returns for a second season after guiding the Lady Wildcats to a 12-14 record and the program’s first berth in the region tournament last year.
The 12 wins were the most in the program’s four-year history.
The Lady Wildcats return half of their starting lineup from last year, but must break in a new setter.
"We lost some key players who decided not to play volleyball this year in addition to the seniors we lost," Erickson said. "We have a very young team.
Last year was a rebuilding season. With what we’ve lost, it will be another year where we develop for the future."
Erickson had the Lady Wildcats attacking the net more last year, and it paid off against the lesser-experienced teams.
Seniors Annie Crabtree, Ashley Adams, and Felicia Crenshaw return to the mix in 2004 and will be expected to lead a Lady Wildcat squad that is short on game experience. Crabtree and Adams were both named to the All-District team last year.
Finding a consistent setter will be one of the top priorities for Erickson in 2004.
"We’re going to run a little different setup this year. Nita Grubbs and Kayla Hampton be our two main setters," he said.
Erickson also mentioned Casey Banister and Kaleesha Williams as two players who could see some time at the setter position.
"They don’t have the court time I would have liked, but they also pose a threat up front and can do some other things."
Erickson said serving and defense will be the big keys in 2004.
"Serving is always an integral part of the game when you play rally scoring. It’s very important that all serves get in. We’re going to stress defense again also since we don’t have a lot of big players but have some players that can pass."
Trigg County’s 2004 schedule includes 15 regular season games, with six of those at home. The Lady Wildcats are also scheduled to play in midseason invitational tournaments at Logan County (Sept. 11) and Caldwell County (Sept. 18).
Trigg County will also host their Second Annual SlamFest Tournament Sept. 25. Erickson said Fort Campbell, last year’s SlamFest winner, and Madisonville, the runner-up, will join Marshall County, Hopkins County Central, Logan County, and Hopkinsville in the tournament.
The Lady Wildcats will once again compete in the Sixth District with defending Second Region champion Caldwell County (28-5-1) and Crittenden County (1-12).
Livingston Central was slated to field a volleyball team this fall but had to withdraw from competition due to a reported lack of numbers for the program.
"Caldwell is still the favorite because of their athleticism. Bu they lost five starters, and they’re rebuilding as well. It will be a matter of who can rebuild the quickest," Erickson said.
The Lady Wildcats open the 2004 season Monday at Calloway County at 7:30 p.m. The Lady Lakers were 4-20 last year, with three of the losses coming at the hands of the Lady Wildcats.
Trigg County’s first home game is Aug. 26 against Marshall County.
"We have to move our feet, pass, and be aggressive. If we can do that, we’ll be in every match we play in," Erickson said.