Mohave volleyball sports both youth, experience
BULLHEAD CITY — Mohave High School will be bringing back almost its entire volleyball team from last season when the Lady T-Birds begin their season at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mohave High School against the River Valley High School Lady Dust Devils.
The T-birds finished 8-13 overall, and 3-9 in the Arizona Interscholastic Association 4A Grand Canyon Region in 2017.
Mohave head coach Zdenko Radic said his T-birds will feature four returning senior starters: 5-foot-9 outside hitter Lily Bouchard, 5-10 middle hitter Natalie Willmore, 5-7 outside hitter Jasmine Gonzalez, and 5-7 setter Bree Lipinski.
Lipinski is a four-year varsity letterman, and she shared the setter position during her sophomore campaign before serving as Mohave’s primary setter in 2017.
“She knows what every player can do,” Radic said. “She knows how to run an offense and who likes what kind of set.
“We have the best offense we can because she knows every single player there.”
Lipinski said she is “super” excited to start her senior season.
“I have big shoes to fill now that Savanna (Frei) and Natasha (Radic) are gone, as far as being the leader on the court,” said Lipinski about the two graduating seniors.
“But I’m more than confident that we will have a great season — cannot wait to go out with a bang.”
In addition to Mohave’s experienced players at the net, there are three or four underclassmen who contributed last season and are hungry to be a bigger part of the team this season
Sophomore middle blockers Hannah Burgess, 6-0, and Oakley Heaton, 5-8, and Keelyn Seabury, 5-11, stand tall and should be a factor at the net this season.
Sophomore outside hitter Maya Radic, 5-6, contributed during her freshman campaign.
“She’s short, but she has some good hops and a really good arm swing,” said Coach Radic. “So, she knows how to play above the net.
“She’s one of the best all-around players; I can use her in the front row, back row.”
Radic said most of his T-birds can play anywhere on the floor.
“That’s what we work on all of the time,” he added. “Most of them can play all around and a couple of different positions without problems like switching.
“We have a good combination; we have five seniors and seven sophomores, and some of the sophomores are going to see a lot of playing time, like Hannah, Maya ... and Oakley.”
Radic said his two “backrow players are sophomores and are really good:” Ashley Salzer, 5-5, and first-year T-bird Jazlynn Jiminez, 5-4, will be playing libero and/or back row.
Senior setter Eleanora Arca, 5-7, is a first-year T-bird exchange student from Italy.