The Lees-McRae Lady Bobcats will start the 2007 season where they have finished the previous nine; on top. The Lady Bobcats, gunning for their unprecedented tenth consecutive conference championship, start the year ranked number one in the Preseason Coaches' Poll, however the decade feat will be no easy task after graduating a pair of All-Conference First Teamers in Amanda Huffaker and Lacie Smith. Both were also named to the CVAC's All Time Team while Smith also picked up AVCA All-America honors.
After winning the last nine Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference Championships, the Lady Bobcats and fellow member schools will be vying for the former CVAC's first Conference Carolinas crown. Huffaker and Smith will be a huge loss to the Lady Bobcats up front, as both names are littered across the Lady Bobcat record books.
All is not lost offensively though, as seniors Daviana Metti (Cordoba, Argentina) and Caty Honey (Geneva, IL), second and fourth in kills in '06 respectively, are more than capable of picking up the slack. With a year of experience under their belts, sophomore setters Trisha Reese (Hanover, PA) and Lauren Dickover (Las Vegas, NV) provide a formidable one two punch for Metti and Honey to work with. Defensively, senior libero Dani Usedom (Geneva, IL) will lead the Lady Bobcats in the backcourt while being the team's primary passer.
"Honestly, I was shocked to see that ranking," commented Head Coach Jamie Petrik. "We are in the process of rebuilding, and this year will be a test to see how well our veterans can lead the younger ranks. Some newcomers will certainly take to the court right away."
Of the thirteen members that comprise the Lady Bobcats in '07, six will be in their first season of collegiate volleyball, while a trio enters their second; making this year's squad the youngest it's been in years. The lack of experience certainly does not indicate a lack of talent as Tracey Copley (Virginia Beach, VA) and Whitney Kiser (Connelly Springs, NC) will contribute and make immediate impacts at outside hitter and middle blocker respectively.
On the defensive side of the ball, Lindsey Brant (Orlando, FL) and Kell Bogdan (Leawood, KS) will push one another for time and assist Usedom, (pictured top left), in the Lady Bobcats backcourt.
The Lady Bobcats (29-8, 17-1 CVAC in 2006), will start the season at the Northern Virginia Invitational opening up the year with Concordia on August 24th. The following day the Lady Bobcats will battle East Stroudsburg and UNC-Pembroke before hosting conference rival Pfeiffer University Wednesday, August 29th.