Lady Highlanders seek to continue improving

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

When Penny Pemberton took over the Eureka Springs volleyball team in 2014, the Lady Highlanders barely had enough girls to compose a team. Now, Eureka Springs not only has a senior high team, but a junior high and seventh-grade team as well.

"That is very encouraging," Pemberton said. "It's very different teaching the younger kids because they don't have any bad habits to break."

The Lady Highlanders have a few weeks until the regular season begins, but they are playing at a camp this week in Green Forest. Pemberton said this will be a good indicator of how her team will play during the regular season.

"It's early competition, but we are going over to Green Forest and there are some good teams that we will see during the regular season," Pemberton said. "It will be a good early test to see what it will be like for our girls."

After a change in conferences, Pemberton expects the regular season schedule to be very competitive for the Lady Highlanders.

"I am a little bit concerned about that," Pemberton said. "It cuts down on travel, but we will be playing teams like Berryville, Huntsville and Gentry. They have more resources than us, but we have to look at it as good learning experiences."

When Pemberton first took the job she knew she had a talented freshmen class. Now that they are juniors, she is very excited, especially about Faith Martin and Heidi Kirk.

"Everyone on our varsity team is juniors," Pemberton said. "We have developed great communication, we just have to become more aggressive. When I first started we relied on our defense, or hoped the other team would make a mistake. Now we are good enough to count on our offense to step up."

The Lady Highlanders open the season on Tuesday, Aug. 23 at Valley Springs.

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