The Chico Lady Dragons Monday started the challenge of rebuilding their rotation after the graduation of six starters from last year’s playoff team.
Though working with a younger group with little varsity experience, Chico coach Missy Patterson is optimistic about the team’s prospects after the first week of practice.
“We have some good, promising young talent,” Patterson said. “Our biggest obstacle will be finding that group that clicks. They are good girls, but they’ve not played together.”
Chico returns only three players – Ali Galindo, Charlotte McGuire and Charlye Biggerstaff – from last year’s team that made the area round of the Class A playoffs and won 26 matches.
Patterson said she’s played with several rotations over the first few days of practice and is still trying to find the right place for several players. She hoped Friday’s scrimmage with Bryson would help settle some spots.
“I’m looking at girls in different places,” Patterson said. “We have several hitters.
“We have a lot of girls across the board that all hit about the same and serve the same. I’ll be looking for who is going to be a step above and pull themselves out of the crowd.”
Senior Martina Cantu has taken over the setter spot. Patterson expects to run a 5-1 with Cantu in the middle.
“She’s was on the JV last year,” Patterson said. “She has great hands.”
Chico will open the season Tuesday with a dual match at Paradise that will also include Bridgeport.