EASTERN HANCOCK ROYALS
Coach: Kevin Adams, 2nd season
2013: 12-23 overall, 3-6 Mid-Hoosier Conference. Defeated by Centerville in 2A Sectional 41 semifinal.
Key Players (with grade/position):
Outlook: Young at most positions, the Royals are taking a long-term approach. “Rome was not built in a day,” EH coach Kevin Adams said. “It’s a little cliché, but applicable here. We graduated a very talented and experienced group of players. We won’t have a quick-fix to replace what they brought to our program. This year’s coaching staff and players are focused and methodical about building upon strengths, and finding ways to minimize the impact of youth and inexperience.” … The Royals added Cory (Pepperworth) Rainbolt as junior varsity coach. Pepperworth was a volleyball standout at Greenfield-Central and IUPUI and is a member of the Jaguars’ Athletic Hall of Fame. … EH’s lone upperclassmen are seniors Missy Bedell, Kate Bowman and Nakayla Shelton and junior Alyssa Hunt. Bedell, an opposite/outside hitter, made the All-Hancock County squad last season, as well as the All-Mid-Hoosier Conference Team. “She is very experienced – several years playing for Team Indiana – and that will help stabilize a team of young players,” said Adams, entering his second season as head coach. … Bowman is transitioning from setter to defensive specialist. Sophomore Eva Stephenson will be the Royals’ primary setter in their 5-1 attack. … Three sophomores who did not play volleyball last season are back with the program: Emiley Carlton, Shelby King and Kaysi Gilbert. “They are outstanding and dynamic athletes who have proven themselves in other sports and have returned to EH volleyball with a vengeance,” Adams said. “Each of them gives us a strong attack option, and increase our blocking capabilities.” … EH won sectional and regional titles in 2012, then dropped to 12-23 last season. “Our journey this season will be one to find the consistency and chemistry to compete at a higher level as we navigate our conference, county and sectional schedules,” Adams said. “I have enjoyed every minute in the gym with these young ladies, and look forward to an exciting season.”
First serve: The Royals host Morristown Tuesday.