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GCHS volleyball opens season

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By Paul Gable

Kelli Lee is sure she'll feel butterflies when her Grant County High School volleyball team hits the floor Thursday, Aug. 14, for its regular season opener against Bullitt Central.

While this is not her first year coaching the sport, this is her first season coaching at her alma mater, something that Lee acknowledges is both special and full of pressure.

"There is more stress on me because I have more eyes watching, but I am trying to do the best I can. Game day is where the pressure comes. I am trying to get the program back to where it was when I played," said Lee, who spent last season as the coach at Williamstown High School.

If the Lady Braves enter their game against Bullitt Central with the same intensity they showed last week in a 3-0 scrimmage win over Scott County, Lee can rest easy.

"All the girls played well, and we served well. Scott County's coach said she was amazed with our team," Lee said.

That result has prompted Lee to believe the 2008 season could be a special one for GCHS, who posted a 6-12 record and enter this year on a seven-match losing streak.

"I think it will be a year of surprises. If the girls continue to do what they've been taught, we should have a decent year. The girls understand their roles now and they all have important roles that must be fulfilled," Lee said.

Lee said her team is starting to realize the potential it has and that is a direct result of the amount of time they have put in during the offseason, including undergoing an "extreme makeover" of the program.

"We have put in a lot of time. The girls have grown to trust me and we have worked on team trust through various things, including a challenge course at Asbury College. I am satisfied that they are implementing what they've been taught," Lee said.

The starting eight heading into the season opener are Dawn Plunkett, Katie Gregg, Rachel Kitchens, Megan Perrin, Blair Hurst, Kelly Noel, Natalie Owens and Nikki Jackson.

"They all played well against Scott County. I didn't sub at all against Scott County," Lee said.

As for a forecast of the Lady Braves' contest against Bullitt Central, a team that went 5-7 last year, Lee heads into the match in a fog.

"I don't know much about them. Were going to work on our weaknesses, play hard and do things right. There is not much to prep on because they are a great unknown," Lee said.

After hosting Bullitt Central on Aug. 14, Grant County hosts Walton-Verona at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 19.

Lee has made her intentions clear during the early part of the season.

"I am here to win games and put the program back on its feet," Lee said.