Rams volleyball ready to stampede Mustangs

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— When the Soroco High School volleyball team enters its match against West Grand High School this evening, the adrenaline will be running high for the mighty Rams.

Soroco, 5-2, comes off a week of homecoming festivities, which included a home football contest on Thursday and a chili cookoff on Wednesday.

Soroco High School's homecoming festivities, which began Monday, wrap up this weekend with the following events: Friday: Spirit Day Obstacle course, lunch hour Volleyball games vs. West Grand Mustangs at 5, 6 and 7 p.m., with varsity at 7. Saturday: Spirit Day Powder Puff Football, 1 p.m. Powder Volleyball (after football game) Dance 9-12 a.m.

On Saturday, Soroco students will take part in the powder puff football game, followed by the powder volleyball match.

West Grand coach Bill Cassel knows that his Mustangs will face adversity in a hostile environment tonight in Oak Creek.

"We're going there with the idea of trying to play our best game," Cassel said. "It's their homecoming and they're going to be motivated."

The Rams, who are coming off a win against South Park High School on Sept. 16, will have to play a stronger defense in order to slow the 6-3 Mustangs, said Betsy Photos, Soroco coach.

"We're trying to sharpen our defense, and we think by sharpening our defense we'll be able to come out a lot stronger, " Photos said.

One of the keys for the Rams thus far, Photos said, has been their offensive play.

"Our serving has been a real strength," Photos said. "And we've been aggressive at the net. I think that's our two big strengths."

The Rams offensive attack is led by setter Sarah Broadbent, blocker Sara Jo Linden and hitter Katharine Ford.

On defense, Soroco looks to shut down the Mustangs' twin sisters, Jessica and Shonda Brown, who Cassel labels as stand-out athletes at West Grand.

"If you don't recognize their names, then you're hiding under a log," Cassel said. "They're both excellent volleyball players."

West Grand, 3-0 in the league, wants badly to keep its unbeaten streak alive in the conference. The team's only losses this year came to Middle Park High School, whom they lost to twice during an opening tournament, and then once later on in the season.

The Mustangs come off a tremendous 1999 season, where they finished one game short of qualifying for the state playoffs. West Grand was beaten by Strasburg and Fowler high schools last year, which finished at Nos. 1 and 2 in the state.

Cassel said that his team worked to improve its serving percentage for the Soroco match.

"We have a low serving percentage that we've been working on," Cassel said. "We'd like to get that back up to the high 90s."

The Rams hope to prevent any such thing from happening.

"We're excited," Photos said. "We're pumped up. It's our homecoming. We've been practicing hard and we're ready to go after them."

Game time for the varsity match is set for 7 p.m.


To reach Eric Rineer call 871-4229 or e-mail erineer@amigo.net

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