By Matt Goisman
McALESTER — A volleyball team without a setter is like a football team without a quarterback. The team can play as much defense as it wants, but without anyone to run the offense, it can’t score consistently enough to win.
The 2012 McAlester Lady Buffaloes didn’t have a setter and won just eight matches all season. The 2013 Lady Buffs have a setter in junior Emily Taylor, and she’ll make her debut when the season starts Thursday against Sapulpa at 4 p.m. at Bob Brumley Gymnasium.
“Work ethic like nobody’s business,” McAlester coach Anita Burns said of Taylor on Saturday.
“She’s a leader on the court, her teammates respect her and they listen to her. She knows where everybody needs to be for any particular rotation.”
Burns credited Taylor’s development to the multiple camps the Lady Buffs have hosted and attended this summer. East Central University volleyball coach David Thorn ran a camp in McAlester and gave Burns some setter-specific drills, then the Lady Buffs went down to another camp at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.
Of the nine schools at the SFA camp, McAlester won Most Improved.
“I think we’re in a very good position,” Burns said. “I want to be a better team in October than we are now, of course any coach would tell you that, but I think we’re head-and-shoulders above where we’ve been at this point in the preseason than we have been in the last few years.”
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