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Marion High School

Marion volleyball gaining confidence with each win

By C.R. Cumbee

Staff Writer

MarionMarion volleyball coach Sydney Hooks has seen it all in her time with the program.  In her first year as a player at the school, the Swamp Foxes failed to win a single game. 

Now in her fourth year as the head coach, the team is coming off a playoff appearance and looking for more this fall.

“We’ve heard positive feedback from everyone that we are being competitive this year.  A lot of times people would look at Marion and say, ‘We’ve got this.’  Now they’re realizing we’ve got it together and we’re out there to win,” Hooks said.

At the halfway point in the season, the Swamp Foxes are 4-4 overall and 3-3 in conference play with victories over Mullins, Latta and Kingstree

Finishing at least .500 in region play would be a huge accomplishment, according to Hooks.

“I’m very pleased with the girls this season.  They’ve put forth a lot of effort.  We’ve had a couple out due to injuries and sickness, which has been tough, but everybody else has stepped up their game.  I’m proud of them,” Hooks said.  “We’ve been competitive.  I’ve had a couple heart attacks (in close games) but we’ve been good.”

Two seniors, Kelsea Butler and Chelsie Davis, have led the way for Marion this year.  Both are strong all-around players that can rotate into several different positions.  They’re also the team’s top hitters.

“If you watch them, you can tell they know what they’re doing on the court.  They never come out of the game and they’ve been great leaders,” Hooks said.

Also seeing time in the lineup is setter Kasey Pase and Briana Wiggins – both sophomores who have been in the program since the seventh grade.

“They’ve been with me since the beginning, and to watch them grow has been awesome.  I have very high hopes for all of the young players.  They’ll continue to work hard to get where they need to be,” Hooks said.

Other players that see the bulk of the playing time include senior middle hitter Ryleigh Evans, outside hitters Alexis Dixon and Masey Waugh, libero Carlie Lewellen and junior Cherilyn Vereen.

Sarah Ray and Makayla Curry are seniors in their final year while freshman Amber Ray and seventh-graders Emily Britt and Elizabeth Morgan are youngsters that are getting acclimated to the varsity level.

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