Rose Hill lost several contributors from this past year’s team that went 35-8, won the league and qualified for the 4A state tournament. Among them was league MVP Jessica McDougald.
Rose Hill begins the season ranked No. 3 in 4A, making them the early favorites for a run to the AVCTL championship for the fourth straight season.
“The team is continuing to work hard to always perform to the best of our abilities,” said Melissa Segovia, Rose Hill head coach. “We want to stay focused and keep the right mentality as we try and reach our goals for the season.”
Returning is a strong senior core led by Bailey Santo, Dakota Williams and Keanu Bradley. All received league honors, with Bradley claiming a spot on the first team.
“Keanu will contribute to our defense as our libero,” Segovia said. “She has developed the ability to read hitters and pick up on hitting cues. She will also bring a competitive spirit to the court.”
Junior Kylie Pfaff, a second team AVCTL selection, also returns, as does productive senior middle hitter Lexie Wartick.
While the starting lineup is loaded, the 4A landscape is still littered with pitfalls.
Classifications may be shuffled, but for now, St. James Academy, McPherson and Maize South are all capable opponents seeking a title. St. James has won the past four state trophies in 4A.
“4A is comprised of competitive teams that are very talented,” Segovia said. “Our goal is to approach each day at practice and competition by working hard and improving all aspects of our game.”
Rose Hill opens the season when it hosts Wellington and Winfield on Tuesday.