Two volleyball championship dreams, one school

Zack Butcher

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It is rare that a school has a sports team with realistic state championship expectations. Remarkably, we have two within the same sport here. The varsity volleyball teams, both boys and girls, are trying to get to the state championships games and hopefully win. Both teams have a realistic chance of doing so, with the girls being 13-4, and the boys being 17-2.
The girls had a rough start to the season, losing four games. The team had a feeling they might get off to a rocky start, however, as they lost four seniors from the year before. Senior captains Ellie Carr, Emma Topp, and Annie Tynes were able to lead a turnaround, as the team is currently riding a seven game winning streak and are fifth in their area.
“Losing to Godwin at the beginning of the season was a real lowlight since they are our rivals,” senior Annie Tynes said, describing some of the early season struggles. “But, we have played them again since and won.”
Although there were some early lows to the season, there have definitely been highs as well. The girls played Glen Allen twice, losing the first time, but winning the second. Before the win, Glen Allen was ranked number one in the area, but after the loss, they dropped down to fourth. It was a huge win for the Wildcats, only having lost once since.
The boys are doing just as great as the girls have been. Led by seniors Josh Gribben, Bay Halloran, and Cameron Mewhirter, they are looking forward to their two biggest remaining games at Cosby and home against Freeman. The boys mirror the girls as they had some disappointing losses, albeit against Lee- Davis and Patrick Henry instead of Godwin.

“Losing to Lee Davis was pretty demoralizing, but in the end, I think it made us a better team overall,” Gribben said.
Although the losses were disheartening, the team didn’t let their losses get to them, instead using it to motivate them. They are now leading their conference and even beat reigning state champions, James River on their own senior night on Oct. 16. That victory is one of many great moments from the season, but it isn’t seen as the best.
“The best moment so far was Cameron getting the final kill against Godwin,” Gribben said. “We celebrated by putting him our shoulders and cheering his name.”
Both teams have standout players, the boys being Michael Wright, who is leading the team in kills and blocks, while Jack Corl is a standout passer. On the girls team, Annie Tynes is recognized for her passing, while senior Katelyn Weber is seen as the best server, and junior Pilar Wisor has the best hitting stats. As successful as each group of players is, they also just enjoy being teams as a whole. Both have great chemistry and do much more than just play volleyball together. They spend a lot of time together away from the court doing things like eating dinner or bonding through local events like the Color Run and movie nights. Both boys and girls look to continue their recent dominance into the playoffs and to continue to compete for the chance to play in the state championship. If the teams continue to play the way they have been, there could be two volleyball state champions in late November.

Two volleyball championship dreams, one school