A mix of experienced players and two key move-ins has the Weddington High volleyball team poised for a successful season.
“I think we are going to be good this year,” said Weddington volleyball coach Brooke Souther. ”
Outside hitter Jordan Ries, Libero Kendal Collins and outside hitter Alicia Davis are Weddington’s top returnees and the Warriors welcomed two transfers in twins Corinne and Olivia Parsons.
Davis, who is a sophomore, had a solid freshman season with 327 kills, 481 digs, 44 blocks and 32 aces. Souther said Davis (5-7) has the tools to play the sport in college.
“Alicia was our MVP and she was an All-Conference player last year,” Souther said. “She is one of our go-to hitters but she is also a phenomenal defensive player. She is relentless on the court and she goes for anything. She has a great spirit and attitude.”
Ries (5-8) had 291 digs and 134 kills as a junior last season.
“Very similar to Alicia in that she is a very consistent player,” Souther said. “She is very smart and she knows how to find the holes on the court. She is our second biggest hitter percentage wise. She is a key player and one of our captains for a second year.”
Collins (5-8) had 338 digs and 36 aces last season as a sophomore.
“Kendal is a great defensive player and she is aggressive on the court,” Souther said. “I rely on her on the back row to be the commander back there.”
The Parsons twins played as sophomores last season at Independence High in Mint Hill. Corinne Parsons (6-foot-1) will give the Warriors some much-needed height while Olivia Parsons is a 5-7 setter.
“They are going to be a big addition this year,” Souther said. “Olivia, we have made her into a setter this year, and she was very willing to do that. She has some experience with that. She worked very hard this past summer on that.
“Corinne is really great for our front row. She will be a big block for other team’s outside hitters. In our scrimmages, she has proved that she can be a block. She is also an offensive weapon.”
Weddington was 11-13 overall last season and 5-5 in the Southern Carolinas Conference. The Warriors lost in the first round of the Class 3A State Volleyball Championships last season and Souther said one of the team’s goals is to make a run at the state tournament.
But that road is more difficult this season as the SCC welcomes three new schools, including Charlotte Catholic, which advanced to the second round of the Class 4A Volleyball Championships last season.
“Catholic is a big school coming into the conference and they have a good program,” Souther said. “We need to be aggressive and play our best each time. Our girls pretty much play year-round and in club ball, they really get more individualized training. Club ball gives them more experience and more reps touching the ball.”
Souther graduated from Weddington in 2008 and she is now in her fifth year with the program, including three seasons as the head coach.
“There is a little more pressure because as a player I know about the traditions here,” Souther said. “I want to keep those traditions alive.”