Head coach Jayme Gardner is back at the helms of Elyria Christian School.

After coaching the Eagles from 2006-2012, Gardner left to coach Kansas City Christian for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Gardner was hired back on as an assistant last season, and is now back right where she left off.

Gardner has four key returning players from a 10-20 2015 season, and is hoping the Eagles’ defense will carry them.

“I think that our defense should be our biggest strength this year,” Gardner said. “We are returning all but one of our hitters; although she will be tough to replace, I think our girls will step up.”

Mishael Redenbaugh is the only senior on the team, while Bailey Unruh, Christin Vetter and Kourtney Bromley are three juniors who will start. Sophomore Brekken Anderson makes five, so Gardner will have to find a final sixth player somewhere on her roster.

“We may have to rely on some young setters that do not have much, if any, varsity experience.” Gardner said.

Setting may not be a strength for ECS, but Gardner still believes passing is one of the team strengths.

“We have some great passers who are getting better and better at reading the court and willing to do what is needed to get the ball in the air,” Gardner said. “They are ready to put in the work and compete at a higher level this coming season.”

The Eagles open up play on Aug. 30 in the Wichita Area Homeschool Athletic Association Tournament, in Wichita.

Contact Gallagher Martin by email at gmartin@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel