After finishing as 8th District runner-up the last two seasons, the Christian County Lady Colonels are eyeing a district crown as the 2022 volleyball season gets underway. The Lady Colonels return experience all over the court and should provide a challenge to the four-time defending champion Lady Blazers from University Heights.
2021 was a season that saw its ups and downs for the Lady Colonels. Christian County struggled out of the gate, dropping the first six. The Lady Colonels then ran off four in a row, before dropping four straight. Christian County would heat back up and take 7 of 9 before closing the season with losses in the 8th District title match and the first round of the 2nd Region tournament.
It was often feast or famine for the Lady Colonels in 2021. Seventeen of their 25 matches ended in sweep, one direction or the other.
More consistency, which should come with a more experienced and mature lineup on the court, should enable the Lady Colonels to make some big strides in 2022.
Look for Hailey Sparks and Rylee Owens to provide leadership for Christian County this season. Sparks, a senior, played in all 24 matches for the Lady Colonels last year and lead the team in kills with 158. Owens is the “emotional fire” for the team on the court and is among the best in the area at making plays to keep the ball alive. She also added 25 assists in 2021.
If Camryn Armstrong continues to develop, she could give the Lady Colonels that “presence” and size at the net. Armstrong is long with a sometimes powerful swing that can quickly close out a point. She finished with 85 kills and 24 blocks for Christian County last season. An increase in those numbers would be big for the Lady Colonels in 2022.
And you cannot overlook the stability provided by senior Chantelle Haby. Haby was the “table-setter” for the Lady Colonels last year, finishing with 367 assists.
NeVaeh Day was a quick study of the game last year for Christian County. In her first season, she was third on the team in kills with 81. She led the team in blocks with 47. If the growth continues to progress at that rate, she could become a potent 1-2 presence at the net along with Armstrong.
A couple of new faces to watch for this year for Christian County are Shiloh Baker and Anaysia Bagwell. Baker returns after a season away from the game. Bagwell, a two-year starter for the Lady Colonel basketball team, brings big-time athleticism to the court and could be a very pleasant surprise for Coach Rick Erickson this year.
When asked about this year’s team, Erickson noted that he is seeing more of a sense of urgency this year, especially from his senior leadership. He adds that defense and an aggressive style figure to be the strengths of the team as the season gets up and rolling.
As for what he would like to see from his team in the early days of the season, Coach Erickson stated he would like to see his team get the competitive fire cranked up early.
In addition to the 8th District schedule, the Lady Colonels will face matchups that include Caldwell County, Madisonville, Todd Central, Webster County, and Henderson County.