Leah Simpson completed her first official act as the new Warren County High School volleyball coach over the weekend. Simpson made her selections on who would be on her first team.
After holding tryouts last Thursday, Simpson posted a list of players who will be wearing Lady Pioneer uniforms this fall. Eighteen players made the cut, including four seniors who have been part of the program’s great run the last three years.
In the final three seasons under coach Franklin Fisher, who announced his retirement in February, the Lady Pioneers advanced to back-to-back regional tournaments and claimed a District 6-AAA championship. Last season, the team won 41 games to break the school record for victories.
The seniors who have been part of the success and are hopeful to continue the winning ways are Kayla Brown, Kelsey Lawrence, MacKenzie Magness and Lauren Wilson. Brown, Lawrence and Wilson all played extensively on the varsity team a year ago while Magness has been making steady improvements since joining the team as a freshman.
Simpson will have six juniors on the team, five of which will be trying to make the leap to varsity play after starting on the junior varsity team last season.
Haley Johnson played on the back row for the varsity team last year and figures to be a crucial part to the team’s defense this season. Fellow juniors Samantha Howard, Hannah Smith, Hannah Turner, Aubree Weitzel and Hannah Wells will be looking to expand their roles with the Lady Pioneers this season.
Setter Lorren Cannon and back-row specialist Bailey Martin are the team’s lone sophomores. Cannon could make an instant impact as the Lady Pioneers lost their top-two assist leaders last year in seniors Blair Fisher and Caroline McKinley.
Joining the team after a successful stint with Warren County Middle School last year are freshmen Elsa Eckenrod, Lauren Hennessee, Abigail McKinley, Brooke Murphy, Skyler Youngblood and Raylee Pack.
The volleyball team will start work with Simpson this summer as the team goes through conditioning. Coach Fisher has stayed on as a special consultant with the program.