LILBURN — Beginning the season 3-17 and with a paltry two seniors on the roster, there wasn’t much bright for Providence’s volleyball team.
At one point the Storm lost 10 straight matches and 15 of 16.
“We started to get down on ourselves,” said junior Casey Rose. “It’s hard.
“After practice one day we got together and refocused.”
According to Rose the focus had turned to the losses and the score and away from communicating and supporting each other and setting an example worthy of players from a school representing Christianity.
“At Providence we always had the mentality that when we play volleyball it’s more than just about volleyball,” Rose said. “Once we stopped getting down on ourselves and got some confidence things started to take off.”
Strategically, the team moved its rotation around, hiding its youth and inexperience the best it could. Players like Rose stepped into leadership roles and coach Andy Randrup said Rose’s “leadership is making the difference this season.”
Along with Rose, co-captain Carly Dubay leads the Storm’s defense at libero and fellow junior Anna Scott plays the net at outside hitter with Taera O’Connor. Sophomore setter Megan Parker has adjusted to her assisting role and playing varsity softball.
Following the poor start, the Storm won 11 of their next 15, including a shocking Silver Bracket win at last weekend’s county tournament. They finished third in the pool play sending them to the other bracket, but on Saturday at Mill Creek avenged a loss to Grayson and beat Duluth and Archer to take the title.
“We were extremely excited to win the Silver Bracket,” Rose said. “We knew if we calmed down and played to the best of our ability it was possible.”
Providence is fourth in Area 6-A and is fighting for a state tournament berth. First is the area tournament in August which the Storm, no matter what happens in the interim, will enter tested and confident in a one-and-done format.
“(The county tournament) helped give us that confidence we needed,” Rose said. “It was very encouraging.”
success in 2nd sport
Even as a multi-sport athlete at Buford, basketball was always Bree Horrocks’ sport.
As a member of the Wolves quarterfinal basketball team last year, the Purdue-bound basketball player averaged just under five rebounds and 7.1 points per game. But even with scholarship offers and a bright future in hoops, Horrocks is making an impact for Buford’s volleyball team.
The senior moved from the right side of the court to the middle during the Wolves’ shocking run to the county championship Gold Bracket crown this past weekend, particularly in the match against Class AAAAAA North Gwinnett.
In the 2-1 win over the No. 9-ranked Bulldogs, Horrocks contributed 18 kills and seven blocks from the middle of the line helping Buford to the title.