Liberty excited about experience heading into volleyball season

Liberty sophomore Ashley Mullen sets the ball during a Class 5 District 15 semifinal volleyball match against Park Hill South last season. Mullen, a setter with two years of varsity under her belt is the “QB of the team,” said coach April Fleming ahead of the fall 2021 season.

LIBERTY — With strong competition on the horizon and a roster stacked with experience, Liberty volleyball coach April Fleming is excited about the coming season.

The Blue Jays are coming of an 18-6 season that saw the team finish 11-3 in conference, taking second behind crosstown rivals and undefeated state champs Liberty North.

“We lost two starters, J’Nai Moutrie and Bailee Middleton,” said the coach. “Returning starters depended on the game - Madi Corf, Jocelyn Renfro, Ashley Mullen, Rebecca Wright, Brooklyn Young, and Grace Toney.”

Last season, Middleton, now playing at Ole Miss, took home all-state, all- conference, all-district and MO/KAN all-star honors. Corf, now a senior, and juniors Mullen and Young each earned all-conference and all-district honors.

Fleming is looking to these seasoned standouts to lead the team to wins. Mullen, a setter with two years of varsity under her belt is the “QB of the team,” said Fleming.

“(We’re) returning heavy arms on the outside with Corf and Jocelyn Renfro (junior),” the coach said of other expected heavy contributors this year. “Returning middle, Brooklyn Young, leads the school in blocks in a single season.”

These veteran players aren’t the only weapons in Fleming’s arsenal she’s looking to this season.

“Returning defensive player, (senior) Rebecca Wright, will step into the role as Libero and look for her to contribute to our defense in a big way,” she said, adding a 6-foot-2 freshman will also be one to watch. “Rookie Abigail Mullen has been a large part of our offense as a right side this summer.”

With all of these strengths, it’s hard to tell if Liberty has a weaknesses going into the season.

“Only time will tell. We will see once the season begins,” said Fleming, adding conference play should be “very strong overall.”

“We will see a lot of good competition in the city and in the town of Liberty,” she said.

The team started its season Tuesday, Aug. 31, at Lee’s Summit West, beating the team in three sets: 25-14, 25-17 and 25-13.

Managing Editor Amanda Lubinski can be reached at amanda.lubinski@mycouriertribune.com, 903-6001 or @myCTAmanda1 on Twitter.

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