The Whitehall-Yearling girls volleyball team is trying to make the most of a fresh start.

Led by first-year coach Haley Bright, the Rams entered the week having already matched their win total from last season.

After going 2-18 overall and 1-7 in the MSL-Ohio Division a year ago, Whitehall was 2-3 before opening league play Aug. 27 against Bexley.

"I like the energy that they have and the spirit that they're bringing and that comes with having a new coach," Bright said. "They're really excited to just get started."

There has been one setback as senior middle hitter Kaila Daugherty, a key returnee from last season, suffered a knee injury in a 25-17, 18-25, 25-18, 25-9 loss to Whetstone on Aug. 21. Bright said Daugherty would be evaluated to determine the severity of the injury.

"We have to keep the girls focused on what we can do and not what happened," Bright said. "Kaila brings a lot of leadership to the team. I'm trying to keep their heads in the game and we're trying to focus more on defense."

Also back are seniors Samara Burton (outside hitter), Tashy Cherotich (middle hitter) and Madisyn Stewart (libero) and sophomore Mya Fuller (setter/outside hitter).

Other players are senior Kayla Roberts (right-side hitter) and juniors Kylie Brown (defensive specialist), Kristina Desenberg (outside hitter) and Kyland Wooden (setter/right-side hitter/outside hitter).

The Rams lost three players to graduation, including Makhia Hinton, an outside hitter who was named first-team all-league last season. Alyson Shoemaker (outside hitter) was second-team all-league and Riley Maxstead (setter) was honorable mention all-league.

Bright replaced Danielle Jackson, who stepped down after 10 seasons. Bright is a 2016 graduate of Liberty Union, where she played volleyball, and a 2019 graduate of Columbus State.

She served as coach at Liberty Union Middle School the past two seasons and recently completed her second year as a coach with Eastside Volleyball Club in Lithopolis.

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Whitehall-Yearling cross country, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis and girls volleyball teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Aug. 31 -- Granville Invitational at Bryn Du Mansion

Sept. 3 -- Licking Heights Invitational

BOYS SOCCER

Aug. 29 -- Home vs. Delaware

*Aug. 31 -- At Bexley

GIRLS SOCCER

Aug. 31 -- Home vs. Westland

*Sept. 4 -- At Buckeye Valley

GIRLS TENNIS

*Aug. 29 -- Home vs. Wellington

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Aug. 31 -- At Heath

*Sept. 3 -- At Columbus School for Girls

*League contest