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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Sr Lady Tigers Ready To Rally In 2A Volleyball


Pictured is captain, Brooke Wright

After spending the summer riddled with the uncertainty of if there would even be a volleyball season, the Mansfield Lady Tigers have officially been given the green light. Spending the last few months perfecting their skills, the Sr High squad is ready for the new territory that lies ahead. “While daily check-ins of taking temperatures and asking questions do affect practice time, the girls have adjusted well to it,” explained head coach, Kaylie Pyles, about handling practice with Covid restrictions. “Coaching in a mask has definitely not been easy. But our summer attendance has been outstanding and the girls have been working very hard. The girls have done an excellent job of following all of the guidelines and rules.”

Natalie Allison

Last year, the Sr Lady Tigers finished with a total season record of 17-14 and 7-7 in 3A conference play. But this season, the girls are being served up a new area with a new leader. The good news is, Coach Pyles has already been assistant coaching these girls in a number of sports already so the “jell” factor is firmly in place. “I have been with most of these girls going on three years now and I’m blessed to be their coach. This program has some talented hardworking athletes and I’m ecstatic to see what they accomplish this season. I would like to see both Jr High and Sr High compete for conference and district championships, and I want to be in the running for a state title. Our volleyball program has always been successful with several state championships, and I have no doubts that we will continue that tradition.”

The 2020-2021 Lady Tigers at their annual Red and White game

Don’t let the step down in conference play fool you into thinking it will be an easier battle with easier opponents either. Going from 3A to 2A volleyball play will be just as big of a challenge. Three of the seven teams Mansfield will take on this season placed in the Top 15 of the 2A last year. Those teams were Lavaca, Decatur, and Eureka Springs. The teams rounding out the 2A conference this year are Mulberry, Thaden, Ozark Catholic Academy, and Life Way Christian. “I think the 2A will be different and a change for us. We will be seeing new teams that we have not played before. There definitely will be a lot more traveling in this conference, compared to our conference last year.”

The 2020-2021 Lady Tigers at their annual Red and White game

After losing six seniors last season, the Sr Lady Tiger roster is still jam-packed with enough talent to paint every team in the 2A red and white. “This year I have four seniors and two of those have never played before, but I think they will bring some much-needed energy and encouragement to the team.” Those seniors are Mikayla Harrison, Chloe Creekmore, Amber Elmore, and captain, Brooke Wright. “Returning All-State Brooke Wright, will be a leader on the court and be a big key to our success this year.”

Skylynn Harris

“Juniors Kiara Thomas, Haylee Helms, and Sadie Roberts are also returning starters from last year who will step up and do big things for us. I have a huge group of sophomores who include Natalie Allison, Skylynn Harris, Madelen Jones, and Brooklyn Adams, whom I expect to be very successful after moving up last year at district as freshmen. Our entire team has worked extremely hard this summer and the atmosphere at our practices is so competitive and intense, I cannot wait to see how our games are!” 

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