Coach: Nancy Hoover, 33rd season
2012: 3-20, 2-9 Midland Athletic League
Returning Letterwinners: Senior Krista Ward (S/DS). Juniors Sara Bell (RH); Shelby Bilger (D); Samantha Hartsel (MH); Morgan Kemenah (OH); Darby Walker (OH).
Old?Fort Volleyball (front, left) Krista Ward, Tonya Heilman (middle) Peyton Miller, Allison?Adelsperger, Shelby Bilger, Mackenzie Ward, Jordan?Magers (back)?Nancy Hoover, Darby?Walker, Morgan?Kemenah, Hope Gippert, Sam Hartsel, Sara Bell, Jamie Anglin
Others: Senior Tonya Heileman (DS); Sophomore Hope Gippert (MH). Freshmen Jordan Magers (OH); Allison Adelsperger (S); Peyton Miller (DS); Mackenzie Ward (RH).
Outlook: The bad news for last year's Stockaders was that standout Kelly Miller, who now suits up for Walsh University, missed the year with a foot injury. The good news though was that a number of underclassmen got valuable experience that should pay dividends for Hoover's squad in the upcoming years.
Some positions have changed with the influx of a talented group of freshmen, but Hoover likes the mix on the team.
"I think the upperclassmen got some good experience and definitely improved," she said. "We changed a few positions around for this year with the freshmen coming up. The younger girls are doing a good job so far. It's tough to jump from eighth grade to varsity, but they're doing good so far."
Hoover will rely a lot on her freshmen this year and says the upperclassmen have done a good job with them in practice.
"They're well aware of the freshmen's ability and the upperclassmen have welcomed them to the team," Hoover said. "They wouldn't be there if they didn't have the ability."
Size, though, is one main issue the Stockaders will have to overcome as they look to improve on last year's league finish. The tallest girl on Hoover's roster is just 5-9. Hoover says that puts a lot of emphasis on her defense, especially in the back row.
"That's going to be a problem," Hoover said of her team's size. "We got to keep working on our blocking and our jumping ability. It will be tough against some of the big middles of the league. Especially for as young as we are, we're playing pretty good defense. We're quicker than we have been in the past as far as the back row. Our serve-receive has been pretty good which is important. It's been better this season than it had been last season."