Marion volleyball has a rep, and it’s a good one, at least among coaches.
Last year’s 33-4 record made enough of an impression that the Lady Warriors are listed 10th in the Kansas Volleyball Coaches Association 3A preseason rankings.
Second-year coach Brea Campbell doesn’t mind the positive attention.
“I think it says a lot,” she said. “I think it does boost the girls’ confidence that we can have another really great season.”
Not that they should lack confidence; with three returning starters and others having improved in the off-season, the Lady Warriors appear poised for another strong run.
Senior and outside hitter Shelby Felvus may look small compared to other front line players, but she plays and hits big, Campbell said.
“Her vertical leap is about 27 inches; she can hang with the best of them,” she said. “She’s one of the hardest working people I know. If something bugs her she’s going to work until she gets it changed.”
Felvus is also adept at shutting down opposing hitters.
“We voted her our defensive player of the year, and being an outside hitter that’s a big thing,” Campbell said.
Senior Marissa Jacobsen will patrol the middle of the net, although she also could see some time in backcourt.
“Last year she came out of the woodwork and started destroying people,” Campbell said. “I love to watch her. She just pounds the ball.”
Junior Kourtney Hansen is the third starter returning, but she’ll be playing a different position this year.
“She’s having to take on a new role for us,” Campbell said. “She was an outside hitter, and this year we’re moving her to set.”
However, Hansen’s versatility makes it likely she’ll see time all over the court.
“She’s like our utility player,” Campbell said.
Senior Falon Crawford should land a starting role after impressing Campbell with her work ethic and progress.
“The amount she has improved from last year to this year is amazing,” she said. “She went to every workout and she went to camp with us. She’s hitting the ball harder than I’ve ever seen her hit it.”
Junior Samantha Richmond also will be a setter, and Campbell expects contributions from Jessi Lewman, Madison Miller, Courtney Herzet, and Bailey Baker.
In fact, there may be too many for Campbell to list.
“We’re at about 29 players this year,” she said. “We’re one of the only schools in our league that isn’t down in numbers.”
The players are close off the court, which has paid dividends in practice.
“They’re coming together really well; we’re getting used to new roles and getting ready to play,” Campbell said. “It’s hard to go three weeks and not get to play. I think they’re getting antsy.”