Popejoy, Lady Tigers looking to build on success
By Scott Loftis
All the Green Forest Lady Tigers accomplished in their first season under head coach Christie Popejoy last fall was winning a conference title and advancing to the Class 3A state volleyball tournament.
So when Popejoy says this year’s team has a chance to be even better, she’s saying a lot.
“I have nine seniors that were juniors last year and got some playing time,” Popejoy said. “We should be as good if not better than we were last year.
Among the returnees are all-conference performers Magen Parton and Maddie Youngblood, both seniors.
Parton is an outside hitter.
“I expect her to do well,” Popejoy said. “As long as she can stay healthy, we’ll be good to go on the outside.”
Youngblood plays in the middle for the Lady Tigers.
“She’s hitting a lot stronger,” Popejoy said. “I expect her to have a good year.”
Popejoy also expects good things from junior setter Samantha Delavin and senior outside hitter Rachel Hernandez.
Green Forest moves to the 3A West Conference this year. The conference includes some traditional powers as well as another newcomer, Hackett — last season’s Class 2A state champion.
“It’s going to be tough for us to finish up at the top,” Popejoy said.
The Lady Tigers went through an adjustment period last season as Popejoy took over for popular longtime coach Trista Killingsworth. Popejoy said things are more comfortable going into this season.
“They’ve come to know what I expect, and they’ve done well with it,” Popejoy said. “We haven’t had any issues with that.”
Green Forest opened the season Monday night, hosting Prairie Grove. The Lady Tigers are scheduled to play at Hackett on Tuesday.