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Seniors, outside hitters dominate 2019 BA volleyball roster

Tigers open season at home Tuesday; host tournament Aug. 23-24

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5d51c794b8a802019 BA Tiger Volleyball
2019 BA Tiger Volleyball

Ten seniors populate the majority of the 2019 Broken Arrow Varsity Volleyball roster, so Coach Ian Bullen has a team of girls that know each other well.

“These girls have been pretty committed,” Bullen said. “These are all their best friends. They’ve grown up playing volleyball together. We have a bunch of girls that are unselfish and will pull for each other. They cheer for each other.”

The playing and the cheering starts for real Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Tiger Field House as Broken Arrow hosts Sand Springs. After traveling to the Norman Varsity Tournament this coming weekend the Tigers return home to face Booker T. Washington on Aug. 20 and then host the Broken Arrow Varsity Tournament, Aug. 23-24.

“We have a lot of the same girls we had last year, but they have vastly improved due to them working hard,” Bullen said. “We’ve had them about a month now in the gym and they are tired of hitting balls at each other. They want to start knocking them at the bad guys.

“Scrimmages have gone really well, so we’re excited. Our girls are very confident now. They know that they can hang with anybody.”

The Tigers top six hitters play best from the outside but their size, athleticism and versatility gives Bullen confidence this team can create advantages at the net.

“If you are to watch us play, and I would say tell me who our middle hitters are, you would probably have to think pretty hard about it because we don’t just hit one girl in the middle,” he said. “We have hitters that are versatile enough that they can hit in multiple positions. That helps us a lot in matching up with what they have hitting at us.”

While all of his hitters are capable of finishing a point, he is equally confident his setters will put the ball in the right spot.

“Our setters have worked hard, hard, hard through the offseason so that we can start running combinations and keep the hitters moving,” he said. “Our setters are savvy enough that we’ll be able to move our hitters around, so we can get one-on-ones and get good swings. Our outside hitters are going to swing a lot, but our other girls are going to get their swings too.”

If Bullen had to pick an area in which his team needs to improve most it would be no different than any other high school team in the state.

“Serve receives is where we need to improve,” the coach said. “But there’s probably not a volleyball coach in Oklahoma that wouldn’t say they could get better at serve receives.”

The serving and receiving starts Tuesday for Bullen, his 10 seniors and the rest of the varsity Tigers.

“It’s going to be a fun year,” Bullen said. “We’re looking forward to getting off to a good start.”