Lady Knights volleyball "Hope" is key

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OAKLEAF - With a name like Hope, it seems that destiny is on your side. Oakleaf will look to bank on a late season surge that saw the Lady Knights win five of their last seven games with four straight into the district semifinal against Mandarin.

For Oakleaf High volleyball, senior returner Jalana Hope, a major force above the net for coach Jennifer Parrett, the far-reaching wingspan of the Knights' frequent flyer is the key to 2020 success.

"She is a huge asset with offense and blocking skills," said Parrett. "Her leadership and work ethic has made a huge impact on this upcoming season."

Oakleaf with three big time players off to college; Bryanna Parrett to Pasco Hernando State College, De'Jah Johnson to St. Thomas University and Ariana Viera to Keiser University, Parrett looks to youth to find the replacement talent pool.

"Before we got back in the gym, they were giving a workout packet to do on their own," said Parrett, who will coach with assistants Kelsey Shannon, Aristen Wiggins and James Parrett. "Day one of back in the gym - It was obvious that had put in the work."

Returning with Hope will be senior Ciara Crocker as setter, Emma Parker, a senior, as a defensive backline specialist and junior Madison Fagan as an outside hitter.

"Ciara will lead as our setter, Maddie has become a strong leader and Emma is a key with her defensive skills," said Parrett. "Our graduates will definitely be missed. Those three left some big shoes to fill on and off the court."

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