The Lady Leopard volleyball team finished their season last week, but not without some incredible moments and accomplishments along the way.
The Leopards traveled to Pace Academy on October 21 to play #1 ranked Pace Academy. Coach McClure and Coach Shoemaker made sure that the girls knew what they were up against, but they also wanted the girls to understand that the experience was far more important.
'We just wanted to let the girls know that we understood they were nervous, but for them to enjoy the moment," Coach McClure said. "Not every team gets to make it state, and especially a first-year team like us."
As the Leopards faced Pace, the coaches already faced a significant hurdle by losing one of their star players, Addison Hoard. Sydney Saxon was able to step up and fill that gap for the team.
Although the Lady Leopards lost in three sets, the team played with their best effort and gained tremendous experience to help them with an expectant return the next season.
Coach McClure reflected upon the season as being a season with lots of learning experiences and remarkable growth.
"Heading into the season, I really didn't know that to expect," McClure said. "But within four games, I could see so much potential."
For McClure, it became apparent that her belief in the girls meant that their goal of reaching the state playoffs was not only reachable but definite. She states that the girls worked hard every single day through practices and games. Overcoming challenging games made the team better.
The team's motto was, "Build a standard of excellence," and the girls showed that throughout the season. McClure states a turning moment for the team was when they beat Rabun County to obtain one of the top four spots in the region, allowing them to advance to the state playoffs.