ROXANA - The Roxana Shells girls volleyball team appears to be building for a strong season in 2018 and also for the future with its summer program under head coach Mike McKinney.
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McKinney said Roxana has had an average of about 23 girls show up for each open gym and had three teams competing in tourneys this summer.
“We had a varsity, and two JV teams, one of which is made up of upcoming eighth graders,” he said. “They participated in tourneys in Rolla, Arnold and Cape Girardeau. We have had amazing commitment and dedication from all the girls and coaches. Christine Zimmer is the other eighth-grade club coach for Roxana.
“We put in a lot of time preparing them for the upcoming season and the results this summer have been good. We encourage all our girls to attend as much as possible and get tons of touches to help hone their skills. We definitely have a good pipeline of players coming, and that all goes back to the feeder program and club ball. I have been doing this with Andrea Cox in the fourth and fifth-grade leagues. Deanna Gehrs and two mothers, Makenzie Hosier and Maddie Herrin, have done two separate sixth grade teams and clubs.
“Casey Lacher has coached our seventh-grade school and club teams, Danielle Ward and another mom have coached our eighth-grade club teams. Andrea Keller is JV coach and also coaches and heads up our club program and coaches 15 and under. We also have girls in our program who play outside our club.”
The coach said the team is reaping the rewards from all the kids’ interest and love for the game.
The annual Mid-Summer Smash event concluded the summer season for Roxana. The Roxana Shells won the Metro East Summer Slam by going undefeated. The Shells defeated Metro East Lutheran, Bunker Hill, Civic Memorial and East Alton-Wood River.
“We decided to host a mid-summer tourney with area teams from several conferences,” McKinney said. “Since Roxana has been playing in tourneys in Missouri and up by Springfield, we wanted to try one with area teams. We made sure teams from same conferences were in different pools.
"Each pool had four teams and each played round robin for a total of three matches. Once pool play was done, we then had the winners in each pool do a round robin for two more matches, second place teams do the same as well as third and fourth place teams. It’s just a good way for coaches and players to see where they stand with other teams in the area.”
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