BILLINGS - Class A's defending state volleyball champions at Billings Central won't be the tallest team this season. But they may be the scrappiest.
"We did lose some size," head coach Anita Foster told MontanaSports.com. "Yeah, we lost three girls that were six feet and up. We've got some jumpers (this season), though."
The Rams do have some jumpers, and some hitters and setters and diggers. Sure, they say goodbye to five seniors off last year's title team, but they have eight now with varsity experience. So, do they make up for a roster without a single player over 5-foot-11?
"We run a quicker offense, what's called a tempo offense," Foster said. "You have to have good passing and we do have that... (and) good defense to get the ball to the setter."
"We've got a couple girls that can jump and get high and that will really help," said senior Mya Hansen. "The main thing is, we just need to be a scrappy team."
Rams DS Tayler Moore explained back row strategy.
"Being back row, we don't swing but we usually try to look for where is open on the other side of the net. So, we really help our hitters and try to tell them where to go then that is open."
Foster says the quicker offense relies on versatile players.
"And what that means is, you're mixing it up constantly," she said. "You're setting it quicker to the outside, trying to mess up blockers on the other side, having hitters switch, that sort of a thing."
Bottom line, Hansen says the Rams just need to be "cranking it as hard as we can."
Truth is, they're already cranking it. Central just won its season-opening tournament at the Class A Tip-off in Sidney.
"We tried some new things and some new lineups and settled on one that we like, which is great because last year we didn't have any tournaments," Foster recalled from one of last season's many pandemic schedule adjustments. "So, I was still changing lineups two to three weeks before divisionals."
They can tweak that lineup against this weekend with another tournament at the Border War Friday and Saturday in Cody, Wyo.