Troup, along with all of the other volleyball teams in the state, will kick off preseason practice on Wednesday, and the season begins later in August.
“They’ve had some good offseason play this year,” Dowden said on Wednesday following the final day of a three-day camp at Troup High. “They’ve attended a lot of camps, and some of them played some travel ball. We’re going to have more experience coming in than last year.”
Dowden said the camp was a good way for her players to head into the start of practice.
“It’s always a great thing to have a week where they can come together with some instruction and get some good training before we get started for the year,” Dowden said.
The Lady Tigers made the state tournament last season, although the win-loss record wasn’t what it was in 2010 on a senior-dominated team.
“We were very young,” Dowden said. “We’re still young this year. Those freshmen have just turned into sophomores.”
LaGrange High and Callaway, meanwhile, both head into a new season with high expectations after keeping their teams mostly intact.
Both teams only lost one senior from last year.
LaGrange will be a senior-dominated team, and most of the players have been together since they were freshmen.
LaGrange coach Angie Newton said the team did a nice job of hanging in there during some difficult times early in their playing careers.
“There are so many reasons you lose athletes, but we have had the same ones for three years now,” Newton said at the close of the 2011 season. “Hopefully it’ll carry over into (this) year and we’ll have them for the whole four years, and hopefully we’ll be real strong going into (this) year, too.”
LaGrange finished third in Region 6-AAA last season and made it to the state tournament.
Callaway had a solid season, but it fell short of earning an invitation to state.
Callaway won 12 games a year ago, and that came just two years after the team won two games.
“Most of our team was sophomores, and I think they gained a lot of experience this season,” Callaway coach Kristina Murfin said after the final game in 2011.