South Stokes volleyball program is headed in a new direction and they’re excited about it. Beginning this season, the ladies will leave the Western Piedmont Athletic 2A Conference and transition into the Northwest 1A alongside county rival North Stokes.
Taking the reins of the program will be Jayson Duncan, the former head coach who worked alongside the Lady Sauras from 1993 until 2010.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to come back and coach. It’s a little different now than it was a few years ago. So many girls play volleyball in the offseason and the girls are more experienced in the game,” he said. “I also believe moving down to a 1A will benefit us in several ways.”
The Sauras will utilize their three seniors and return seven lettermen from last year, including three starters in Lydia Caudill, Lilly Weaver, and Mary Weaver. Both Lilly and Mary are returning WPAC all-conference players and Caudill is known for making a strong impact as blocker on the team.
Last season she led with 29 blocks and Mary added 251 digs and 25 assists. Lilly tallied 159 kills and 35 ace serves.
South Stokes finished 13-12 overall and 3-7 in conference play. The team placed fourth in the WPAC and fell in the first round to Mountain Heritage in state 2A playoffs.
According to the coach, he’ll run a common offense in volleyball this season with the 6-2.
“I believe this offense will set us up for better success,” Duncan said. “We want to take one game at a time and build off of that. I want the girls to have fun and play hard every time out on the court whether it’s in practice or a game.”
During the summer, assistant coaches Jennifer Spargo and Penny Jessup held workouts for the team until the first of July when Duncan was rehired. Soon after, Salem College hosted a successful one-day camp.
“Camps are important and especially if you can get someone like Kevin (Troup),” said Duncan. “When he coaches the fundamentals of the game and then we hit on the same stuff later in our practices, it lets the kids know we are similar in the ways colleges teach. It instills confidence and team chemistry between players and coaches.”
Members of the Lady Sauras team include: Mary Weaver (Sr.), Mackenzie Yontz (Sr.), Sarah Birkholz (Sr.), Hallie Carroll (Jr.), Carly Hall (Jr.), Summer Coats (Jr.), Lilly Weaver (Jr.), Lydia Caudill (Jr.), Macy Nelson (So.), Hailey Rothrock (So.), Caroline Richardson (So.), and Chloe Stewart.
Aug. 15 at Rockingham County
Aug. 19 vs. McMichael (Tournament)
Aug. 22 at Elkin
Aug. 23 vs. East Wilkes
Aug. 24 vs. West Stokes
Aug. 28 vs. North Forsyth
Aug. 30 at East Wilkes
Sept. 5 at West Stokes
Sept. 12 at East Surry*
Sept. 14 vs. Mount Airy*
Sept. 18 vs. Rockingham County
Sept. 19 vs. Winston-Salem Prep.*
Sept. 21 vs. Bishop McGuinness*
Sept. 26 at North Stokes*
Sept. 28 vs. East Surry*
Oct. 3 at Mount Airy*
Oct. 5 at Winston-Salem Prep.*
Oct. 10 at Bishop McGuinness*
Oct. 12 vs. North Stokes*
*Northwest 1A Conference games
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.