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Grant County High School volleyball coach Kelli Lee wasted little time putting her stamp on her new team. After inheriting a Lady Braves team that finished last season with a 6-12 record, including seven straight losses to end the season, Lee reached out to coaches Steve Williams and Cabot Keeser to conduct a camp.
The decision by Lee paid dividends as her team gained valuable knowledge from Keeser and Williams, who performed an "extreme makeover," according to Lee.
Williams, originally from Kentucky, is a coach in Florida and said that the players are hungry for the game of volleyball.
"They have done a great job, and Coach Lee has done a great job. Successful programs have a culture and we are trying to develop that here. We want volleyball to be something people want to do," Williams said.
Keeser is from Ashland and said he knows how important it is for volleyball to be a major sport.
"We are trying to initiate a wake-up call for this sport here. Twenty minutes north of here has always been good, and Louisville is Louisville. We are trying to reach out and get the kids out," Keeser said.
Lee said the "extreme makeover" worked wonders for the Lady Braves.
"Practice is going great. The girls have come a long way," Lee said.
Lee said the team she inherited was what she expected after seeing them twice last year when she served as coach of the Williamstown Lady Demons; however, she said that, along with the fact that she played her high school volleyball at Grant County, matters little.
"We have started from scratch. We started the rebirth of this program five days ago with our extreme makeover. I am trying to teach the game and build a team concept. We are not where we need to be, but we are working hard to get there," said Lee, pointing to the fact that GCHS has had only seven winning seasons in the program's history.
Lee anticipates having 19 players on the team this fall, with six of them being seniors and three players being juniors. Lee singled out the efforts of seniors Nikki Jackson, Megan Perrin and Blair Hurst.