Ripley put together a quality season in 2019, claiming the first ever Tippah County Tournament championship and posting a 15-13 record while competing in the extremely tough 1-4A division.
The Lady Tigers came up with a 2-6 mark inside that division, though, and fell short of reaching the playoffs.
2020 brings a new year, several multi-year contributors and the hopes that their growth from a season ago will lead to a spot in this years playoffs.
“We’ve worked on our serve-receive game and just running a smoother, more efficient offense,” second year coach Greg Dillard said of his work to prepare to take the next step as a program. “We have also worked on being more aggressive on defense. I think if we accomplish those things we will make some waves and make this season count.”
Dillard and the Lady Tiger come in to the season with six seniors, all with experience on the court.
Senior Captain and Setter Ellis McBride returns as a multi-year starter as well as a member of the Tippah Sports All County volleyball team and Mississippi Sports All District team from a season ago. McBride led the Lady Tigers in assists and aces a season ago. Senior Outside Hitter Lexi Page, another All County and All District performer, is dangerous at the net and led the team in kills with 97 in 2019.
Former Setter now Outside Hitter Regan Hall and Libero Annie Simpson, both Seniors who saw lots of time on the court a season ago, will be looked at to have big seasons.
Leigh Allison Akins, a defensive specialist and rightside hitter, and Autumn Griffin, a middle hitter, both return as Seniors to provide experience on the floor for the Lady Tigers.
Junior Sarah Catherine Childs returns as a versatile multi-year starter and will line up at setter, outside hitter and on the right side in 2020. She was tied for the team lead with 49 service aces a season ago.
The Lady Tigers open the season with a pair of in-county games against Pine Grove, which will also act as Meet the Tigers, on August 24th and Walnut on the 25th.
See the complete schedule below: