Coming off of back-to-back 3A state championships, Boulder City High School’s girls volleyball team is the preseason favorite to claim their third consecutive title.
The Lady Eagles have one of the state’s top rosters this season as they bring back eight returners from last season’s 38-6 team and add a few new players into the mix.
Flexing their muscles this summer against defending 4A champions Bishop Gorman at UNLV’s team camp and coming out on top, the Lady Eagles have proven themselves capable of defeating anyone when they play up to their championship pedigree.
“Every season begins with some challenges,” head coach Kurt Bailey said. “Our challenge is just trying to stay hungry and not get too relaxed. We have some new girls that we need to work in and some injuries that we’re currently dealing with, but everything will work itself out.”
The Lady Eagles return juniors Kamry Bailey, Sierra Orton and Ava Wright, who all made the All-Southern Region first-team, along with second-team selections senior Raegan Herr and junior Kelsi Robinson.
“Having so many returning players has really made it easy to pick up exactly where we left off last season,” Wright said. “We all get along and know how each other plays, which will be a key part in being successful this season. Although we have a few new players, it hasn’t affected the chemistry at all. We have accepted them and it’s only made the team stronger.”
Kamry Bailey comes back after earning 3A player of the year honors, generating 350 kills, 198 digs, 101 serving aces and 27 blocks last season.
Wright dished out 1,084 assists with 203 digs, 139 aces and 27 blocks, while Orton will look to build upon her breakout season after generating 214 kills and 66 blocks.
Herr (179 kills, 43 blocks, 31 digs) and Kelsi Robinson (153 kills, 92 blocks), along with juniors Rachel Krumm and Madi Wood and sophomore Zoey Robinson all add more championship experience.
“The key to our team is we have a lot of experience,” Kurt Bailey said. “They understand the way we like to do things. Our girls, even though the majority of them are juniors, they’ve been in big situations where it will not only help them moving forward, but also allow them to help our younger girls understand what our team wants to do.”
Adding on to their championship core is sophomore Kate Prior, who transferred from 4A Foothill and is expected to make an immediate impact. One of the state’s top sophomores, Prior tallied 89 kills, 54 blocks, 37 aces and 21 digs last season for the Falcons.
“Kate is really going to make a difference for us,” coach Bailey said. “She can hit the ball really hard and blocks like a maniac. She’s already getting used to all of her teammates. We’re expecting big things out of her this season.”
The Lady Eagles know they have a target on their back. Packing their schedule with a handful of 4A opponents, as well as league rivals, they know everyone will look to knock them off.
“Being back-to-back state champions definitely puts a target on our back because we are the team to beat,” Wright said. “Having the target on our backs isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it will only make us work harder. We have a solid team and I am very confident that we will have a successful season.”
Boulder City opens its season Aug. 23 in the 4A-laden Las Vegas Invitational.
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.