YORK — With challenges that include a mix of newcomers and returning players, plus injuries for senior mainstays Nora Childers and Mattie Ballard, the York Comprehensive High School volleyball team has managed to increase its level of play in recent matches.
Head coach Julie McGee believes it’s only a matter of time before the Lady Cougars get over the hump.
“The girls are working extremely hard to improve and we are starting to see major gains in play the past two weeks,” said McGee.
The Lady Cougar volleyball team traveled to compete at South Pointe Thursday. Despite their effort, McGee said, they were defeated in three sets, with scores of 25-16, 25-14 and 25-10.
“A huge improvement was our serving in the South Pointe match, serving more aces than errors as a team,” she said. “Our overall skill level is improving and we are gaining valuable experience playing in our region.”
Taylr Sharp led the Lady Cougars offensively in kills, with seven in the match against South Pointe.
Earlier in the week, the team lost to Lancaster. Final scores were 25-8 Lancaster; 25-17 York; 25-20 Lancaster; and 25-15 Lancaster.
McGee said Childers, Amber Epps, Haley Boheler and Mahoganey Setzer have “stepped up their play to help the team where needed.” She also said seniors Ballard, Morgan Kuczler and Caroline Guerry have helped provide leadership on and off the court.
Childers, who is back in the lineup after recovering from a lower back injury earlier in the season, said the team is making progress, including first-year players contributing to the program.
“Chloe Carroll is among the new players helping the team,” Childers said. “She is helping us at the serving line. We are winning sets. We need to learn to finish.”
Childers is a fierce competitor who is known for pouring her heart and soul into everything she does, whether it’s volleyball, softball or supporting the YCHS football team.
. “I love competing. I love our school and I love the football team. I want my senior year to be right. It means so much to me,” Childers said.
Carrie Lee Lancaster, a 6-foot, 1-inch junior mainstay who contributes to the Lady Cougars’ power game, agrees that some progress is being made against region opponents such as the match against Lancaster.
“The play was intense in the second set, and the third set was closely played,” Lancaster said.
“I feel good about my game and the team’s improvement,” she added. “We are bonding as a team.”
Lancaster said she has occupied the middle of the lineup in the past, and this year she is playing outside. “I like playing both areas and I really like playing the net,” said Lancaster.
The Lady Cougar volleyball team will travel to Northwestern Thursday for a 6:30 p.m. match.
Next will be a Tuesday road match against Rock Hill, followed by an Oct. 3 trip to rival Clover. All matches have 6:30 p.m. starting times except for an Oct. 10 date at Lancaster, which has a 7 p.m. starting time.