DAYVILLE - With seven returning players and a total of 13 girls out for the team, expectations are running high for the 2003 version of the Monument-Dayville volleyball team under the direction of new head coach Treila Osborne.

Last season, the Tigers finished fourth in the TriCo League and advanced to the district playoffs before being eliminated.

Osborne said she has never coached volleyball before, but has a capable assistant coach in Kori Martin who played for the Tigers during her high school career and did some coaching last season.

"The girls have been working hard in practice and the team is starting to shape up," Osborne said. "All the girls have positive attitudes and are very supportive of each other."

Returning players include seniors Lyndee Smith and Cheltzy Cox, along with juniors Ashley Mund, Jammie Adams and Shantra Hannibal.

Also returning are sophomore players Tiffnie Ashley and Emma Winkelman who both saw a lot of action on the court last year as freshmen and gained some valuable playing experience.

New players on the team include senior Amber Steinborn, juniors Mandy Anderson and Brittany Osburn and freshman Heather Saunders.

Also joining the squad are foreign exchange students Johanna Doll from Germany and Zuzanna Kovacova from Slovakia.

Osborne and Martin said they didn't know which teams were the strongest in the Trico League, but she expected the Tigers to be right in there at district playoff time.

"I have no idea about the other teams," Martin said. "What we plan to do is play one game at a time."

"The girls enjoy playing the game of volleyball and are having fun doing it," Osborne said. "having fun is what's important."

The Tigers open the season on Friday, Sept. 5, at Arlington for a 5 p.m. match against the Honkers, and return to Dayville to face Wasco County on Friday, Sept. 12, at 4:30 p.m.

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