The Enterprise Lady Cats volleyball team is coming off of a school-record fifth consecutive Elite 8 appearance in 2018 but is ready to take the next step and bring a state championship back to Enterprise.
Enterprise volleyball has been one of the most consistent programs in the state, going 233-88 with seven area championships and five Elite 8 appearances in head coach Janie Wiggins’ seven years at the helm at EHS.
In 2018, the Lady Cats matched their best record under Wiggins going 39-8 and earning another area crown along with making it to the Elite 8 once again.
Since falling to Mountain Brook in the Class 7A State Quarterfinals last season, the Lady Cats have been hard at work to get over the Elite 8 hurdle this season.
“Practices have gone well,” Wiggins said of fall camp. “Saturday we had an officials camp and I was pleased with all three of our teams at the camp.”
Wiggins points to her senior class filled with leaders, which could help lift the Lady Cats this season.
“I really have to brag on our seniors and say that they are ‘all in’ in with everything we’re trying to do,” Wiggins said. “They’ve worked really hard to get the younger players to become more comfortable with each other on the team, so that they can be their best, as well.
“We’re really focusing on bringing everyone together to play as a unit rather than playing as an individual.”
Senior stars Ali Wiggins (243 kills, 69 aces, 198 digs and 552 assists in 2018) and Morgan Harrelson (173 kills, 62 aces , 383 assists and 263 digs in 2018) return as leaders this season, but Janie Wiggins will be leaning on a big class of seniors to lead EHS together.
“Both of our setters – Ali (Wiggins) and Morgan (Harrelson) – have done a really good job of moving the ball around and hitting,” Janie Wiggins said. “Tatiana (Bonilla) is becoming more aggressive and more confident. She’s been all over the place defensively for us.
“Rhiannon Keck has really stepped up in her leadership role and done a really good job for us, too. Also, Addy Thompson has improved tremendously.”
While the Lady Cats are working to gel together as a unit, they’re also concentrating on fundamentals during fall camp.
“We’re trying to be more consistent with our serve receive and we’re working on some things to speed up our offense,” Janie Wiggins said. “We’re moving some things around (on offense) and that’s really what we’re focused on right now.”
While Janie Wiggins and her Lady Cats want to take the next step as a team in 2019, she said that the focus is also on making sure her senior leaders enjoy the process.
“We always want to beat whatever our record was or finish higher than we did the year before,” Janie Wiggins emphatically said. “More importantly, though, I want them to enjoy the process and learn how to play hard and not worry about making errors.
“A lot of our team is seniors and I want them to look back and be happy with how the season goes and enjoy the process along the way. If we do what we’re supposed to do at practice and they’re ‘all in’ we’ll finish the way we want to.”
The Lady Cats will get the season started at home with a 2 p.m. game against the always-tough Providence Christian Lady Eagles on Aug. 22.