BANGS — Cheyanne Lovelady returned to her old stomping grounds Thursday morning as the former Bangs and Howard Payne standout held her first practice as the Lady Dragons’ volleyball coach.

“From the time we got here at 8 a.m. and started our running and conditioning and lifting, they’ve exceeded my expectations the entire day,” said Lovelady, who will attempt to guide the Lady Dragons back to the playoffs for the first time since 2015. “Coach (Callie) Malloy did a great job last year trying to get the fundamentals in their heads, and they came out today and worked really hard. I told them exactly what I expected this morning and they came out and did exactly what I wanted. They gave 100 percent, all they had, and they had great communication.”

The Lady Dragons’ first game falls a week after their initial practice with Bangs opening its season at the Albany tournament Aug. 9.

“My biggest thing is improvement,” Lovelady said in regard to her short-term goals for the Lady Dragons. “Improvement is great and from this afternoon to this evening we’ve already improved a ton. We want to keep moving in that direction and improve every single day.”

Bangs’ first home game falls on Aug. 27 against Abilene Christian, while the District 6-3A slate begins Sept. 21 at Dublin.

A more in-depth look at the Lady Dragons’ season will be included in Sunday’s edition of the Bulletin.