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Summer practice begins for Belgreen

The Belgreen Bulldogs are preparing for a strong showing on their side of the volleyball net this upcoming season.

Coach Teresa Whitten, joined this year by assistant coach Tressa Bragwell, and her girls faced their first practice match against Belmont last night. New this year according to AHSAA rules, high school volleyball programs can compete in unlimited practice matches from the last week of June through the month of July, as compared to previous years’ four-game limit. The Lady Bulldogs will face off with Russellville July 13-14 and will host full days of games July 26 and 28.

Junior varsity Lady Bulldogs include (front, left to right) Bailey Wood, Nora Castillo, Kaycee Wilson, Bailey Oliver, (back, left to right) Whitten, Gracie Dempsey, Emma Dempsey, Rachel Riley and Bragwell.(Not pictured, Kaley Chandler).
Junior varsity Lady Bulldogs include (front, left to right) Bailey Wood, Nora Castillo, Kaycee Wilson, Bailey Oliver, (back, left to right) Whitten, Gracie Dempsey, Emma Dempsey, Rachel Riley and Bragwell.(Not pictured, Kaley Chandler).

A team of experienced student athletes will show strength at Belgreen this year with high expectations for a successful season. “This will be the first year on varsity that I don’t have any new people,” Whitten said. Her team includes four seniors. “I’m very hopeful. I had four eighth graders last year who moved up to varsity during the season and actually played at Super Regionals.”

She said her girls left Super Regionals upbeat last year, having won a set for the first time in the program’s five-year history.

Ana Castillo will be a four-year returning senior for the Bulldogs. “She does everything well. She’s very good at hitting and very consistent passing and serving,” Whitten said. Other key players for the varsity Bulldogs will be Autumn Bragwell, Katie Dempsey, Brianna Wood and Anna Grace Humphrey.

“I’ve got a lot of good talent,” Whitten said. She’s asking the team this year to focus on “relentless effort” – a borrowed phrase from Dan Mullen at Whitten’s alma mater, Mississippi State.

The Lady Bulldogs will play a second practice match Thursday at Belmont.

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