by Karen Sherrell
Salem Schools have started a volleyball program and the team has been diligently practicing throughout the entire summer.
Under the guidance of Coach Lena Smith, the new teams have come a long way. “We’ve been practicing skills and fundamentals, and they have done well. The girls will gain more confidence as they play more games,” said Smith.
No stranger to coaching, Smith, a Salem alumni, coached volleyball at Mountain Home for six years, and Junior Olympic volleyball for two years. In addition to her coaching position, Smith teaches 8th and 9th grade Social Studies, 8th grade Arkansas and World History, Civics and Economics, and is the Assistant Softball coach at Salem.
This being their pilot year, the Salem Volleyball team is classified as a JV team. Next year they will have Senior and Junior Varsity in the 1A-4A District.
“We got lucky to fill in games this year, because the schedules were all done,” said Smith.
The senior high and junior high teams travel to Walnut Ridge for their first game on Monday, August 21, with a busy schedule each week through mid-October. “The more we see, the more they’ll improve,” said Smith.

SET AND READY: The Izard County Junior Varsity Volleyball team gets ready to receive a serve from opponent Cave City, on Thursday, Sept. 8, at the Brockwell campus. The Junior Varsity team includes Roree Warren, Trinity Neal, Stormy Woods, Tess Savell, Haley Stone, Isabella Martinez, Tracy Middleton and Joni Sherrell. See additional photos in this week’s edition of Pacesetting Times. Photo/K.Sherrell