Senior Amanda Barker has a different responsibility with the Granville High School girls volleyball team than she had with last spring's Division II district-championship softball team.

Senior Amanda Barker has a different responsibility with the Granville High School girls volleyball team than she had with last spring's Division II district-championship softball team.

As a pitcher, she was the defensive centerpiece as the Blue Aces advanced to regional play for the first time. As a setter, she's the offensive anchor who is trying to help the team win another MSL-Ohio Division title after consecutive up-and-down seasons.

"We're hoping she'll run an effective offense," said Sue Harrison, who coaches both teams. "We've struggled a little bit moving the ball (in preseason scrimmages), but we're confident she'll get it going. We need to be more consistent getting the ball to her."

The three other returning seniors include libero Kira Severyn and outside hitter Marie Mock. Alex Kerns will serve and play in the back row. Kailee Kratoville, a 5-foot-10 middle hitter and move-in from New Albany, is the fifth senior.

"We should be a pretty good serving team. I think we'll be strong at player positioning, too," said Harrison, whose team opens Tuesday at Bloom-Carroll with the first league match to follow Thursday at Whitehall. "What I think we need to work together on is our communication."

Although she's been sick recently, 5-11 junior outside and middle hitter Elizabeth Hickman adds size in the frontcourt. The same goes for 5-10 junior middle hitter Natalie Hickman. Also playing are juniors Courtney Moyer (outside hitter) and Maddy Bartlett (right-side hitter) and sophomore Maddie Hoprich (defensive specialist).

"Size is nice, but you also have to be able to jump and you have to have timing," said Harrison, whose team finished 14-10 overall a year ago with a 19-25, 25-10, 25-14, 30-28 loss to fourth-seeded Canal Winchester in a Division II district semifinal after ousting DeSales in three games in the second round. "Technique and fundamentals, we're still working on those."

The Blue Aces went 11-12 two years ago and last won the MSL-Ohio in 2005. They placed fifth (7-7) last season as Heath (13-1) and Bexley (13-1) shared the title. Among the highlights was a 20-25, 25-18, 25-20, 21-25, 15-5 first-round win over eventual Division III district-champion Lakewood, which was 7-0 at the time.