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Hartselle Enquirer

Danville set to make another run at Class 3A title

By Staff
Team hopes tough schedule will pay dividends
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
As successful as their 2005 season was, the Danville Lady Hawks won’t be happy with a similar performance in 2006.
The Lady Hawks blitzed through the postseason last year, not dropping a single match in the Region D tournament and remaining unbeaten all the way to the championship match in the Class 3A Elite Eight. Danville lost that match 3-0 to Montgomery Academy.
This year Danville not only wants to once again reach the championship, but it wants to win the state title. And after losing just one senior from last year’s state runner-up team, Danville might have the group to pull off that feat.
That lone senior loss is libero Haley Hensley, but Little said that her contributions will be hard to replace.
The Lady Hawks return three key players in seniors Lauren Simmons and Bethany Evans and junior Alaina Fitzgerald. Simmons will again play middle hitter and Fitzgerald will play the other middle hitter position. Evans returns as the team’s setter.
Simmons was also named to the All-Elite Eight team and was the 2005 Enquirer Player of the Year, finishing the season with 1,255 kills and 121 aces. Evans was also an All-Elite Eight player, leading the team with 1,486 assists while adding 128 aces, 240 digs and 136 kills.
Other tentative starters are senior Magen Linderman at outside hitter and senior Kassie Cowart at libero. Also on the team are juniors Brittany Atkins and Kali Fitzgerald and a pair of sophomores in Kirby Wallace and Jordan Spinks.
In order to reach the team’s goal of returning to the Elite Eight, Little and the other Danville coaches have scheduled a murderer’s row of non-area opponents. The Lady Hawks will face Class 6A opponent Austin, Grissom (Class 6A runner-up), Bob Jones (Class 6A semifinalist), Bayside Academy (defending Class 2A champion), Addison (defending Class 1A champion), Huntsville (defending Class 5A champion) and Class 5A schools Hartselle and Guntersville.
In addition to that gauntlet of regular season opponents, the Lady Hawks will participate in two regular season tournaments — one in Birmingham against mostly Class 5A and 6A opponents and one in Murfreesboro, Tenn., against some of the best volleyball teams in Tennessee.
Re-alignment has left Danville with a completely new slate of area foes. Last season the Lady Hawks had Elkmont, West Limestone and West Morgan in their area while this year they will face Hanceville, Vinemont and Good Hope in Area 13 play.
Danville defeated Good Hope 2-0 at the Elite Eight during preliminary pool play last season.
After ending the 2005 season with a 59-19 record and a state runner-up finish, the Lady Hawks have definitely caught the attention of supporters of the school and the surrounding community.

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