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First year volleyball coach Chris Peer seemed pretty calm as his Spencer County Lady Bears battled Bullitt East to the very end of an exciting three set loss last week. He says the wins and losses right now are not indicative of the progress the squad has made, even those important numbers have improved.
Currently the team is 8-5 on the season. Last year, the squad finished 5-18. Peer said this year’s team has competed well against many of their district foes. Early in the season, Bullitt East easily dispatched the Lady Bears in two quick sets, 25-8 and 25-13. Last week, the teams split the first two sets, and Bullitt East came from behind to win the third set.
“The district championship is within our grasp,” said Peer. “Our girls have battled the Bullitt County schools at every regular season game and we could take this.” He said seniors and team captains Ashlee Bell, Amanda Jewell and Jenni Lohrey “are ready to lead us to victory with tremendous blocking, hitting and service.”
But it’s not just the success on the court the girls are having that has Peer excited, it’s the opportunities he’s had to improve the girls’ games.
“Wins and losses do not always tell the true story about the individual or team development,” he said. “My goal was to expose the players to other aspects of the game like faster offense, relentless defense and tougher competition, and then work with them to determine the next steps in their development.”
He said the varsity had a good showing in the Bluegrass State Games over the summer, gaining confidence that they could compete with some of the best teams in the state. He said that has carried over into the regular season and said the girls’ efforts have resulted in “establishing the new image of Spencer County Volleyball.”
Interest in the sport has spiked. Not only are there enough girls to field a varsity squad, but also a JV and a Freshman team. Both of those squads are succeeding as well. The JV sports a 9-4 record while the Freshmen are 10-2.
Peer said there’s a lot of potential for the sport to take off in the county, and he has lofty goals of where the program may be in a few short years.
“If the younger players continue at this pace and pursue off-season opportunities in club volleyball, Spencer County could become one of the strongest volleyball programs outside of Jefferson County.”
The girls will finish the regular season with three home games beginning Thursday night when they host Atherton. On Monday, they will welcome in Bethlehem and on next Thursday, they will celebrate seniors in their final game when they host Cornerstone Christian.