Not rebuilding, Sulphur volleyball has new faces, same expectations

Published 2:43 pm Thursday, July 8, 2021

By Rodrick Anderson

2020 was a watershed season for the Sulphur volleyball team after reaching the state tournament for the first time since 2003.

The Tors will have a lot of new faces this year, but head coach Bridget Coppels is adamant that 2021 will not be a rebuilding year.

“Everyone keeps asking me if we are going to have a rebuilding year,” Coppels said. “I just keep saying the names might be different but the expectations for Sulphur volleyball are the same.

“I am excited for them to make their own name for themselves. I think it is still going to be a really fun year. We are athletic, but we have to fine tune our volleyball skills. This summer we have been doing a lot of overall volleyball skill work.”

The trip to the state tournament provided the foundation for this season.

“It was amazing,” Coppels said. “It was a really special team to be a part of.

“If anything, it brought so much confidence to every single person in this program. We preached last year that it took every single person that had a Sulphur uniform last year to get where we got. We built a foundation, and we were ready to build on it.”

The Tors have a lot of new faces with two starters — outside hitter Bridget Trahan and setter Keelie Seaford — returning.

“Bridget Trahan is going to be big for us and was last year,” Coppels said. “With (Cara) Murphy and Erika (Whittington) gone, she is going to have to step up and be a leader on the front and back row.

“She is going to have to play six rotations. I know she can. She has worked really hard this offseason to get better. Keelie is going to have to be a setter and hitter this year. She did that as a freshman, but last year she ran a 5-1. She is an amazing hitter and really good on defense. She is going to do a little bit of everything for us.”

McKenzie Toney (setter/defense) and Lauren Richard (defense) have varsity experience. To fill the rest of the lineup Coppels is looking for underclassmen to step up such as juniors Kendal Trahan and Finli Dennis and sophomore Claire Weidner.

“We had six seniors last year, and they all pretty much played varsity in some capacity since they were freshmen,” Coppels said. “But these kids have watched that senior class for four years and got to train with them every single day, so I am really excited for these girls that are coming up that get to make a name for themselves and for Sulphur volleyball.”