SIERRA VISTA — It took longer than Buena High School volleyball coach Todd Bradbury and his players would have liked to return to the court but now that they have only one word can describe the feeling.
“It’s refreshing,” Bradbury said in an email statement to the Herald/Review. “The coaches and the girls are all used to spending a lot of time in the off season conditioning and working on specific skills development in order to be ready and improved for the start of season.
“So we all missed it. And then to not be able to start on time and the wonder of if we would be allowed back in at all tested all of our patience. The girls are hungry and ready to put in that extra work now that we are back.”
Bradbury has seven returners from last year’s squad, but graduated most of their power hitters. The coach added that a positive for this season is their setter, Emileigh Furry, is back and now has two years of experience under her belt.
“We did lose some of our power hitters last year so looking to see who is ready to step up and fill those shoes,” Bradbury said in his statement. “Emileigh Furry is back as a Junior for the third year (and is) ready to fully take over running our offense as the setter. With a setter with two years experience already as a junior she has the consistency experience and maturity to ensure our hitters are successful day in and day out.”
When the Colts begin their competitions Kailani Parades will make her debut for the Colts. Bradbury said Parades will add to the strong defense the team already has and will have an immediate impact this year. Parades transferred to Buena last year but missed the season due to AIA rules.
The coach added that their upfront blocking will be better than it was last year which will make them competitive in their region, which will look different than they were expecting a couple months ago.
“(It’s) hard to look at long term goals this year when we still aren’t sure what our schedule is going to look like, how many games we are going to play,” Bradbury said in his statement. “So we are taking it one day at a time and just grateful we are able to be back on the court. Of course when we do get the opportunity to play, our expectations are always high. No matter who we play we have to be competing with ourselves to be the best we can be any given.”