Volleyball play starts a bit later than football does, usually a week later.

That doesn’t mean practice starts later, just the first games.

The Lady Vandals, under fourth year coach Katie Benson, have been on the practice floor throughout August and are looking to find the right combinations for the new season.

The girls were tied with Owyhee last year in the league with 9-1 records, but ended up the No. 2 seed behind the Braves, then lost 3-1 to Virginia City in the first round of the 1A North playoffs to finish 14-8 for the season.

This year, Benson looks forward to another good year. “I have quite a few returning players this year. Alia Minoletti will be an outside hitter, Shauna Brown is our setter, Mikala Talbot is a middle blocker, Josie Hokenga is a middle blocker and Savanna Sanders is another outside hitter.”

The key players who graduated from the team last year Benson notes, were Hallie Norris and Cody Gibbs.

“I think the girls are really excited for the season to begin,” Benson said. “Several of them are three-year varsity players and are kind of coming into their own leadership and ownership of their role in winning, and I am hoping that we do pretty well this year, in fact, I’m expecting that we will.”

The Vandals had a couple of down years before their 14-8 season in 2017.

Wells and Owyhee will again be the main competition in the eastern part of the 1A North. Benson said, “We’ll probably have tough competition from both of them.”

Owyhee was state runner-up to Pahranagat Valley last year.

And just by way of a side note, longtime veteran Pahranagat Valley coach Ginger Whipple has retired and former player Millie Walch is taking over the reins. She played under Whipple, 1996-2000.

A quick overview of the schedule for the Lady Vandals. They begin with Round Mountain Aug. 30 just prior to Labor Day weekend, then host Whittell and Tonopah Sept. 7-8.