Jayson Duncan will enter his second season as South Stokes head volleyball coach after returning from a seven year absence last season. The Sauras finished 15-10 overall and placed third in the Northwest 1A Conference with a 6-4 record behind East Surry and Mount Airy.
“We have always had a strong volleyball conference and this season should be no different,” said Duncan. “Our goals are to go out and have fun, improve our skills, play hard on every play, and improve our record from last season.”
Senior all-conference performer Lilly Weaver will return to the team alongside honorable mentions Lydia Caudill and Macy Nelson. Weaver led the team with 255 kills and contributed 209 digs. Caudill added 141 kills and blocked 20 balls. Nelson, the team’s defensive specialist, had 155 digs and tallied 76 kills, while setter Hailey Rothrock will be back with 395 assists and 141 digs.
“Lilly is our outside hitter and will be key to our success this year,” said the coach. “Lydia, Macy, and Chloe will be key as well. The whole team is working hard to improve and we we’ll count on each of them to help us meet our goals this season. Several of them played on the soccer team that made it to the fourth round of the playoffs last year and we’re hoping that mentality will pour over into the volleyball season.”
South will carry five seniors, three juniors, and four sophomores on the varsity roster this year. Weaver and Caudill have expressed interest in playing college volleyball and several other players have a desire to work towards playing at the next level, according to Duncan.
The Sauras lost in the second round of the NCHSAA 1A State Playoffs to conference foe East Surry 3-0. The JV team finished 9-8 last season and saw much improvements throughout the year. The conference graduated a number of talented athletes including player of the year and UNC-Charlotte signee Bethany Clayton. Weaver will look to fill the shoes of Clayton and finished third in the player of the year voting by the league’s coaches.
Members of the Lady Sauras varsity roster are: seniors Lilly Weaver, Lydia Caudill, Hallie Carroll, Carly Hall, and Summer Coates; juniors Macy Nelson, Hailey Rothrock, and Carolina Richardson; and sophomores Chloe Stewart, Rhiannon Dunlap, Heidi Lane, and Savannah Nelson.
South Stokes will open their season on August 14 when they host 3A McMichael. The JV team will begin at 5 p.m. with the varsity to follow. For a complete volleyball schedule visit the school’s website at https://www.south.stokes.k12.nc.us or Maxpreps.com.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.