WOODS CROSS – The Woods Cross Wildcats volleyball team had one of the best seasons in school history, going undefeated in the regular season and making it to the semi-finals of the 4A state volleyball tournament.
They may have fallen short of a championship title appearance, but the experience of being in that setting has this year’s team looking forward to getting the 2014 season underway.
“We had the most well-rounded team last year and winning our fourth straight region title showed how good we could be,” said coach Stefani Jensen. “We have a whole new attitude because of the things we accomplished last season.”
That new attitude will come with a change in its schedule. Last year the team played only region games, while hosting it own (non-region) Clawbuster Tournament at the beginning of the year.
As a strategic scheduling addition the Wildcats will also take part in the Bingham tournament, which typically draws 20 of the best volleyball teams in the state.
“It’s a tough tournament to get into, but our recent success and the fact that it’s only a few weeks away from the state tournament will really help us get into that atmosphere once we get back (to state),” Jensen said. “Most of the teams there will also be seen at state, so if you perform well at that tournament, you feel pretty good going into the state tournament.”
The Wildcats core group of returning players is seniors Lindsay Tagge, Bailee Barton, Lacey McEwan and Jessica Jensen. That group, said Jensen, will be on the court “for a significant amount of playing time” this season and will each serve a different purpose on the floor.
Tagge will be the team’s libero (defensive specialist) but can play anywhere on the floor, said Jensen. Barton and Jessica Jensen will both serve as the team’s middle blockers, and McEwan will be one of the team’s outside hitters.
“She’s a big hitter,” Jensen said of McEwan. “She’s going to be a solid player this year.”
Beyond those four, the remainder of the floor will be easily exchangeable among the group of players.
Jensen doesn’t see that as a problem;, as the team’s depth is going to help the Wildcats play just as well, or better, than last year.
Woods Cross finished 17-1 and was 14-0 in Region 6 play. The Wildcats beat Mountain Crest to finish in third place in the 4A state volleyball tournament.
Lady Wildcats 2014 schedule
9-12, 13 CLAWBUSTER TOURNAMENT (HOST)
9-18 @ Highland
9-23 @ Kearns
9-25 @ Bountiful
10-2 JUDGE MEMORIAL
10-3, 4 @ Bingham Claim Jumper
10-7 @ Cyprus
10-9 @ East
10-28 @ Clearfield
10-30 @ Judge Memorial
11-6, 8 State 4A