Sixteen Scioto Valley Conference championships, 17 district titles, 11 regional runner-ups and three state tournament appearances – including a 1993 state runner-up finish. That impressive resume belongs to Laura Smith, as she enters her 23rd season as the head coach of the Adena volleyball program.
Sixteen Scioto Valley Conference championships, 17 district titles, 11 regional runner-ups and three state tournament appearances – including a 1993 state runner-up finish. That impressive resume belongs to Laura Smith, as she enters her 23rd season as the head coach of the Adena volleyball program. She is the owner of a 466-93 career record. Since 1990, Adena’s 225-11 league mark has put them in possession of the championship in all but one year, and nine times the Lady Warriors ran the table, posting an unblemished 14-0 SVC record.
Complete domination of SVC and southeast Ohio volleyball – that has not changed for Adena over the past two decades, however, change is one thing the two-shade blue will have to deal with in 2007 to keep the tradition rolling.
“It is hard to say at this point,” said Smith when asked about her outlook for the upcoming season. “It has been tough with the fair (referring to the Ross County Fair) to really get a look at all the girls together this week. I do feel like the girls have worked hard and had a good attitude this summer.”
The first change comes as result of seven seniors (six which played significant time) graduating in 2006, including 1st team All-Ohioan in setter Haley Halcomb. Halcomb, who was also the D-IV POY a year ago, was also joined on graduation day by 3rd team All-Ohioan Sara Smith and 1st team All-District performer Leah Hirsh. Tara Knauff, Braylee Pinson, and Catherine Glandon also will no longer be a part of Adena’s rotation, so Adena will definitely have to rebuild. Right? Well, not exactly.
Adena does return an All-District performer in junior Ashley Jordan. The 5-11 southpaw middle hitter returns as the centerpiece of a group that looks to reload rather than rebuild. Jordan will be joined by Casi Coy, who after receiving all-league recognition last year for her play as Adena’s libero, will take over the setting duties.
“Ashley and Casi have worked hard this year to improve their games,” Smith said. “They both have great attitudes and have shown some nice leadership throughout the off-season.”
Kristen Snyder should also supply a threat at the net. The senior, who was an all-league performer in both basketball and softball as a junior, has waited her turn and has shown signs this summer of being a very productive strong-side hitter. Snyder leads a group of newcomers that contain a lot of talent and potential.
Obviously, the Lady Warriors have a lot of players that are unproven at the varsity level, but a program with the type of tradition that Adena has just does not look to rebuild. Adena has graduated several great players over the past two decades, but each time they have found a way to keep winning.
“We have some good young players, but they are untested at this point,” Smith said. “There is no way to really know how they are going to react to the varsity game until they are put in some pressure situations. We have a solid tradition here at Adena and I think that motivates the young kids to want to continue the success when it is their turn to move up.”