Head Coach Dana Bryant has the potential to have a great season this year. Bryant, in her 16th year at Pleasant Valley, has the advantage of having lots of experience leading the team since six of the 10 players are seniors.
Seniors this year are Kaylee Benefield, Jordan Moorer, Anna Craven, Bailey Turner, Taylor Cochran and Abby Hedgepath.
The lone junklkjhior on the team is Kendall Johnson. Cammie Cochran and Taylor Williams are sophomores and Anna Bryant is a ninth grader.
Bryant will be using two setters this year -- ninth grader Anna Bryant and Turner. Hedgepath will be playing libero, Craven defensive specialist, Taylor Cochran outside hitter, Moorer outside hitter and Benefield and Cammie Cochran will be playing at the middle hitter position.
“We should have a good season,” said Bryant.
“They should be a strong team. I’d love to see them at the state tournament this year -- that is their goal. These girls have the potential to do that and they are excited about finishing strong this season.”
Over the summer Alabama State came to run a team camp. The Lady Raiders won all four games they played.
This year Pleasant Valley will be in the same area as Wellborn, Piedmont, Ohatchee and Weaver. “It will be a tough area,” admits Bryant.
A tough area will help prepare the Lady Raiders for their goal -- getting to state. Once they are out of area play they have to make it past Super Regionals.
“Super Regionals has made it harder to get to state,” said Bryant.
“When we had sub-state and Regionals you would crisscross the stronger teams with the weaker teams. Now at Super Regionals you can have two strong teams meet at the beginning.”
So far Bryant has no complaints about her team or their dedication.
“They get along great together,” said Bryant. They are having fun; so far it’s been a blast. I’ve really enjoyed it.
“It’s been fun working with them. They have been excited to be here. In the summer I would have to make them leave, they wanted to stay longer. They also wanted to come earlier.
“As a coach you can’t ask for anything more than girls that want to do well. They are hustling and working hard.”
Two big tournaments that the Lady Raiders will be in this year are the Blaylock Tournament at Hoover and the Sandy Hunter Invitational, which they will host.