By Shari Harris, Co-Managing Editor
The Licking Lady ’Cats held tryouts for the 2023 Volleyball season Monday and Tuesday mornings at the Sherman Hill Field House. Coach Tammy Miller and Asst. Coach Brenley Smith put 24 players through drills and scrimmages, learning the skill levels of each individual, in order to build the Varsity and Junior Varsity teams for this year’s season.
With only two varsity players graduating last year, Coach Miller, in her first year at Licking, has a team mostly intact. Three seniors return from last year, Hannah Medlock, Riley Moloney and Finley Sullins, as well as a host of juniors and sophomores who started or received varsity playing time last year. Also vying for spots will be the incoming freshmen from a good junior high program.
Coming most recently from a position as District Activities Director for the West Plains Zizzers, Miller has an impressive resume. During 20 years as head coach at Logan-Rogersville, her squads made the Final Four eight times, with seven Elite Eight finishes. Sixteen district crowns and fifteen conference titles were earned during those 20 years. Along with other honors, Miller was named National Federation of State High School Associations Missouri Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2009 and Missouri Class 3 Coach of the Year in 2018.
“I like watching kids compete at a high level,” said Miller. “I have high expectations of the season.”
Miller looks for a good work ethic in her players, and feels volleyball teaches life skills.
“I set my goals, standards and expectations at a high level,” she explained. “I expect them to work hard.”
It looks like Lady ’Cat Volleyball fans can anticipate a good season. In a region where many schools boast high quality squads, nothing is guaranteed, but Miller, Smith, and their squad of Lady ’Cats should be well positioned to compete with the best.
Photos by Rick Duncan