BRANFORD — The Branford volleyball team is coming back harder than ever with returning players from last year and previous seasons.

"We are extremely competitive," coach Mendy Sikes said. “This district will be tough but I feel very confident. All of last year’s starters are returning.”

Sikes said the power hitters are Lachelle Sikes, Cera McElreath, Blair Smith, Kinleigh Collins, Cierra Ellefson, Dara Cannon and Jaylynn Smith.

The setters this season are Cannon and McElreath. The strong defensive back row players are Adrianna Saavedra, Victoria Haburn, Evie Pitts, Vanessa Haburn, Jody Hill and Madison Olson.

Sikes said the schedule this season is tougher than previous seasons as they have moved into a new district, with eight of the games being played against District 4A or higher.

BHS will be hosting the district tournament this season.

"This is going to be a great season," Sikes said. "We have so much talent and drive on the team.”

The Bucs opened their season Monday at home against Hilliard. After road games Wednesday and Thursday at Gainesville and Chiefland, Branford returns home Monday for a visit from Hamilton County. The varsity plays at 7:30 p.m. with the junior varsity playing at 6 p.m.

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