VALLEY SPRINGS — Valley Springs’ volleyball team had a meeting in the Class 3A State Volleyball Tournament this season.
The Lady Tigers were eliminated by Charleston in the opening round, 3-1. It was a contest that saw the squad move up and down during the contest.
“We started out flat at the state tournament,” said Valley Springs coach Shawna Woehl. “We fought through it and made a big come back. They worked hard and made adjustments and I am proud of their overall performance.”
Valley Springs lost the first two sets of the contest with Charleston before winning the third.
“I think the pressure of it being a big game and the idea that we lost the first two sets started getting into their head,” said Woehl when asked about coming back and winning the middle set. “I told them they had to forget all that and think of this could be their last game. How did they want to go out —playing their best and enjoying playing the game with each other. So, we went out and let the pressure go. We played each point aggressively and didn’t worry about the score. They all relaxed a little and played a great game.”
Valley Springs ended the season with a 12-4 record. The team had many highlights. Due to virus concerns, the team did not have the opportunity to play in tournaments other than the district and state tournaments.
“This season had a lot of highlights,” said the coach. “The first half of the season we were undefeated and the girls were having so much fun. It was a lot of fun to watch and be a part of their energy.
“Another highlight was beating Rose Bud in the district tournament,” continued the coach. “They were our first loss this season and we hadn’t played well against them. So, we really wanted to redeem ourselves against them. That victory was hard earned.”
The Lady Tigers say goodbye to a special class of seniors. Haylie Fry, Maura Moore, Shaye Baker, Chloe Avery, Makenzie Graves and Maggie Nelle played their last volleyball game in the green and white.
“This group of seniors is a special group,” said the coach. “They have all grown up with each other and work so well together.
“When I started coaching them last year,” continued Woehl, “they were willing to trust my process and work to get to the level they experienced this year. I’m really proud of all they overcame this year and their perseverance during such a crazy season.”
The senior class has set the bar high for the Lady Tigers that will be rising in the ranks.
“I am blessed to get to experience this season with all of the girls,” said Woehl. “They are a lot of fun to be around and even more fun to watch. It hurts to lose so many seniors, but I am excited for next season as well. The opportunities are wide open for the group coming up.”
Lady Tiger underclassmen team members include: Madison McWhirter; Kamryn Miller; Katelynn Middleton; Brinkley Matlock; Emma Graddy; Kiera Snow; Tinley Williams; and Rylie Yarbrough.