The Lady Leopard volleyball team had a busy week with matches against Madison, Oconee, Elbert and Tallulah Falls.

The team began the week by facing Madison and Oconee. Although they walked away with losses, the team showed that they have tremendous potential even though they are just a second-year program.

"One of our strengths is in our hitting positions," said head coach Whittney LaHayne. "We have a few girls who can fire the ball when given the opportunity.  To be so young, I am so impressed with this team."

The week saw strong performances by Jadelyn McClure. McClure brings depth and experience to the team and is relied on heavily to set the game's tone for the team. She has led the team in serve percentage

Junior Bacey Ausburn has also stepped up this past week for her team and led in serve percentage.

"I think as a second-year program, we have definitely matured and developed confidence from last year," Auburn said. "We talk a lot on the court, and encouraging one another is so important. We have to work on our energy a little, but we all love each other, and our chemistry helps us. We play against some great competition, but that makes us better. I think we have what it takes. We have a great coach. Coach LaHayne has stepped in this year, and her knowledge has been incredible. She has this way of coaching that makes us all feel like we are capable of anything. She is passionate and intense but also shows us how much she believes in us."

Freshman Shayna Vickery stepped in for Lilee Parson, who was put out from a fractured hand. "We were in quite a predicament right before the game.  But Shayna accepted the challenge and really helped to fill an important position," said LaHayne.

The team also faced Elbert and Tallulah Falls. Facing Elbert, the team rose to the challenge and secured their first season win. Unfortunately, the team fell to Tallulah Falls during the second matchup.

LaHayne was extremely excited about the win and commented that the team has some things to work on.

"We have a lot of areas that we need to work on, serving being one of those areas," she said.

When the girls start syncing simultaneously (good passes, sets, and hits), they will be able to hang with the strongest of teams.   We currently need to work a lot on our offense.  We send way too many balls over the net as free balls when we should be getting set up for attacks."

The coach added, "This team has improved so much since our first practice in June, even from our first match a week ago.  They want to learn and put in the extra time to become better. I have the faith that these young ladies will continue to work hard and grow.  They have shown grit and determination, which will carry us far this season."

Going into the week, the team will focus on fundamentals and communication. The team faces Lakeview, East Forsyth, Commerce, and Franklin.


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