The Lawrence County Red Devils were in action this past week when they competed in a summer volleyball play date at West Morgan High School.
Six varsity teams competed in the event, with games lasting in 30-minute intervals. The Red Devils took on Madison County, Lauderdale County, West Morgan and Lexington during the day.
For head coach Robyn Hutto, it was her first chance to see her team in action against other teams this summer
“I was really pleased with how we looked today,” Hutto said. “This was the first day and we were swapping people around and doing different things, but I thought they handled it well.”
While summer action is always important, this year’s brings more value than previous seasons. The Red Devils lost seven seniors (Alex Livingston, Bailee Pulliam, Brooke Graham, Candace Terry, Madelyn Ray, Maggie Shelton and Patti-Anne Smith) off last year’s squad.
“I have just two players back that had significant playing time last year. So, even though we have older girls, we don’t have a lot of experience,” Hutto said. “That makes this summer really big, and I’m trying to be very positive to keep their spirits up, because I know this is all knew for a lot of them.”
Skye Letson returns as a middle with playing experience, but only Anna Clare Hutto returns as a starter. As her name suggests, she is indeed the daughter of Robyn. But while being the coaches’ daughter may bring plenty of pressure, she will be forced to take an even bigger role this year.
“Her role is very important, the rest of them feed off of her,” Hutto said. “She exudes confidence and that helps them play confident.”
Of course, with just one returning starter, Hutto will be looking for new players to step up. One of the youngsters who had a strong showing was Ava Boyll, who takes over the important outside hitter spot.
“She has worked hard this offseason and has improved leaps and bounds,” said Hutto. “I’ve already told her she’s going to have to carry the load because that outside hitter gets 80-85% of the sets. So, to see how she’s matured, I’m really proud of her.”
Lawrence County may be a young team, but expectations are still sky high for the powerhouse program.
“When we started practices our motto was to prove them wrong,” Hutto said. “So far they’ve took that head on and I’ve been gladly surprised.”