Editor’s Note: This is part two of a nine part series about the Duncan Demons’ and Lady Demons’ 2021-2022 athletic year. Future editions of The Duncan Banner will have each sport chronicled with a look back at their respective seasons.
Both Volleyball and Softball are now gearing up for the new season in 2022. Last year, each team took part in the start of the memorable 2021-2022 season with each team trying to take it one step further in post-season play.
Duncan Softball came off a year where they had to replace several seniors. The team used a few new faces around the bases to try and make some noise in Coach Robert Cowan’s second season back in tenure number two.
Coming off a season where they finished third in the district in 2020, Cowan saw improvement in the win column and the district standings as the Lady Demons went 20-13 overall and 11-3 in district play.
The nine win improvement on the year and only three district losses put them in a tie for second. They got the tiebreaker over Eisenhower to host the Class 5A Regional Tournament.
Winning the first two games by beating Western Heights 13-1 and El Reno 2-1 put the Lady Demons one victory away from their first State Tournament appearance since the 2016 season.
Day two saw El Reno come back and beat Duncan twice to punch the ticket to the 5A State Tournament and give the Lady Demons an early end to the 2021 campaign.
Five of Duncan’s players were named to the All-District team. KK Miller led the way as the Player Of The Year for the district.
Miller hit .482 with six home runs. She had 34 runs scored while going a perfect 17-for-17 in the stolen bases category.
As a pitcher, Miller had 266 strikeouts — the best in Class 5A. Three other team members were selected as utility members of the first team.
Aubrie Davis, Hannah Woods and Tina Alvarez received selection while Kailee Benton received selection as a second team member on the All-District team.
All five of those players will return with significant playing time and will start the new campaign on the road at 5 p.m. Aug. 9 at Davis High School.
Duncan Softball only had two seniors. Kaya Harvey and Emily Mefford were the two honored during the 2021 season for the Lady Demons softball team.
Coming into the season with a chip on their shoulders, the Lady Demons volleyball team saw their season end in 2020 due to a couple of quarantines that left them short handed in the Regional Tournament.
Coach Amanda Lard, 10 victories away from career victory number 100, said that was the early highlight of the 2021 season as she clinched it to become the second coach in school history at that mark.
The season moved on and for the first time in several seasons, the Lady Demons were ranked in the top 10 of Class 5A as they fought to make it back to the 5A Regional Tournament.
Despite fighting hard, the Lady Demons fell short of hosting Regionals for the first time in school history and had to travel to Tahlequah to punch their ticket to the State Tournament.
For only the second time in school history, the Lady Demons beat McAlester 3-0 and then beat host Tahelquah 3-1 to win the 5A Regional Tournament and become one of the final eight teams.
Heading to Verdigris High School, the Lady Demons finished the year by falling to No. 1 ranked Mount St. Mary and finishing the season with a 25-10 record — the third best record in school history.
Duncan honored nine seniors who played for the Lady Demons and became only the second team in school history to play at the State Tournament.
Those seniors included Alexis Giles, Elvia Tamez, Gracelynn Nickell, Hanna Brew, Janine Sitchon, Kaylee Foster, Klarissa Testa, Kyndle Ledford and Mija Boljevic.
Duncan Volleyball will begin their season at the El Reno Tournament to begin 2022 on Saturday, Aug. 20 with the tournament playing as an all-day event.