New coach has high hopes for Green Forest volleyball

Friday, August 16, 2019

By Scott Loftis

Christie Popejoy is new to Green Forest, but she’s not a complete stranger.

Popejoy is beginning her first season as the Lady Tigers’ head volleyball coach after 13 seasons at Valley Springs — a conference rival of Green Forest.

She takes over for former Lady Tigers coach Trista Killingsworth, who accepted a job in the Bentonville School District over the summer.

“The girls, when I first walked in, they were a little intimidated,” Popejoy said. “Even though they didn’t know me personally, they knew me from Valley Springs. I think they are getting more comfortable now.”

Although Popejoy said it’s a bit early to talk about individual players, she expects the Lady Tigers to have a successful season.

“It is looking really good,” she said. “We have some strong seniors, some good juniors and we have a couple of sophomores who will help us. I think we’ll have a good starting group and a good bench.”

Among the seniors returning from last year’s team that finished 9-15 are Stacy Flores, Kendall DeMeyer, Kiara Taylor and Alissa Smith.

“Once school starts, I’ll have a better idea,” Popejoy said. “With vacations and summer basketball, things like that, I haven’t seen them all together yet.”

Still, expectations are high.

“I see us a contender both for the conference and the district,” Popejoy said.

The Lady Tigers will play a benefit match at Flippin on Aug. 22 before opening the regular season on Aug. 27 at home against Yellville-Summit.

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