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Pee Dee Academy High School
Mullins

 

Pee Dee Academy volleyball looks to build off strong finish

By Justin Driggers

Consulting Editor

Mullins – Losing six seniors from a year ago, Pee Dee Academy head volleyball coach Lori Ann Rogers knew there would be a few growing pains this season.

It was very gratifying, then, to see how well the young Lady Golden Eagles responded.

PDA finished the year 17-9 overall and tied for second in SCISA Region 4-AA. It also made it all the way to the third round of the state playoffs.

“We didn’t have a lot of experience,” Rogers said. “The younger girls really had to step into those leadership roles and gain some confidence. My seniors had a big part of building them up.

“The key was really just them learning that they can play well and have fun at the same time.”

The only full-time returning starter was senior Lilly Caulder who has played on varsity since the eighth grade. Fellow senior Holly Grice played part of the time last year but filled a bigger role this time.

The rest of the squad was mostly inexperienced and the team spent a good portion of the season figuring out who fit best in what role.

“Really finding the right place for everyone was a challenge,” Rogers said. “The lineup would change even going in to the last few weeks of the season. But we finally got a in a little groove toward the end.”

Two of the key players to fill in those big roles were sophomore Maggie Jacobs and junior Katie Wilson. Jacobs had played libero for parts of last season but played mostly on the outside this year along with Wilson.

“Really some of the most consistent players all year,” Rogers said. “Maggie was big for us on the outside and Ashley Martin, who’s a freshman, took over her big sister’s role as one of middle hitters. She also played a lot of backrow for us as well.”

Holly Hammond and Jillie Busskin also served key roles as did Tess Devers and Elizabeth Moore. Devers, who was called up from the jayvee squad, was a setter while Moore served as libero.

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