Warriors back after first district title in 35 years

SMITHVILLE — Smithville volleyball coach Katy Minnix sometimes finds herself glancing up at the district championship banner inside the Warriors’ gymnasium. Usually the same thought crosses her mind.

“It was kind of embarrassing,” the fourth-year head coach said. “It was good to get another year on that banner.”

Last season, the Warriors broke through and captured their first district title in 35 years.

“This year, having experienced that, we’d like to win districts and push even further into the postseason,” Minnix said.

The coach is optimistic that this year’s squad can do just that, despite having to replace four starters due to graduation and another due to sophomore setter Autumn Kaderly being out for the season because of injury. A big part of that, Minnix said, is the tougher conference slate that the Suburban Blue provides.

“All of those schools in our conference are Class 4 and we’re Class 3,” she said. “They’re all competing on a larger stage so it’s definitely a challenge. But because we’re playing such tough teams throughout the seasons, once we got to districts we were prepared. The level we had seen through conference was consistent with districts.”

The Warriors, who went 14-16-6 last year, return senior outside hitter Sarah Coffman, an all-district performer.

“Sarah is a big leader for us. She’s my rock,” Minnix said. “I can rely on her for everything on and off the court.”

Junior Katie Kasten and sophomore Isabella Reynolds factor into the front line as middle hitters. Kasten was an all-district selection last season. Elsewhere, senior Megan Harris will play as setter and Corene Keele as libero.

Sports Editor Adam Burns can be reached at adam.burns@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6643.​

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