North Surry’s volleyball team took heavy losses to the roster in the offseason, but opposing coaches know better than to count out head coach Shane Slate.
The Lady Greyhounds lost seven of their 12 players from last year’s team, including Western Piedmont player of the year Malaya Johnson and all-conference honorees Bailey Culler and Abby Golding. Those players were instrumental in the Hounds going 59-6 over their last two years including the 2012 2A state championship.
Still, local coaches say North is reloading, not rebuilding.
Leading the way is North’s last key piece from that 2012 title, senior outside hitter Taylor Hill.
The Hounds might have gone deeper into the playoffs last fall if Hill hadn’t badly injured her ankle against Surry Central.
In Friday’s scrimmages, Hill showed good swings from the left side and back row and even sent a few spikes from the right side.
Morgan Hawks is a versatile player who was counted on heavily when injuries felled Hill and Culler.
Culler was a three-year starter at setter, but missed the first month of her senior year with an injured wrist. Hawks stepped in at setter and gained experience. She also helped at outside hitter when Hill went down. Now she’ll be counted on at the setter position.
Jordan Badgett and Aubrey Hall got experience last year and now will be counted on as regulars.
Three players move up from the JV team. Two of them are familiar names as they played on the varsity basketball team last winter: Abby Andrews and Maggie Hawks. Andrews saw time in the middle on Friday while Maggie, Morgan’s younger sister, played libero. The third player moving up is Amber Simmons, a junior who can play on both outside spots.
Two players with good size will play on varsity as freshmen.
Malaya’s younger sister Mikaela Johnson took over the middle position Friday and showed plenty of promise. Martha Holt, who like Mikaela is right at six feet tall, gives the Hounds more length at the net.
As freshmen, those two are still trying to find their way, said Slate.
Afte seeing his team in action Friday, Slate said that the team did well in most parts of the game, but lacked consistency. He said everything could use a little more work from skills to timing to team chemistry.
While the Hounds may have some growing pains, expect North to still challenge for the top spot in the conference.
Coach Slate is assisted by Andrea Tucker.
Date Site Opponent Time
Aug. 19 Home Watauga 5:30
Aug. 21 Away East Surry 5:00
Aug. 23 Starmount Reagan/Starmount
Aug. 25 Home Wilkes Central 5:00
Aug. 28 Home Mount Airy 5:00
Sept. 2 Home West Forsyth 5:00
Sept. 3 Home North Stokes 5:00
Sept. 9 Home West Stokes 5:00
Sept. 11 Away Carver 5:00
Sept. 13 Home Starmount 10:00
Sept. 15 Away Reagan 5:00
Sept. 16 Away Surry Central 5:00
Sept. 18 Home South Stokes 5:00
Sept. 23 Away Forbush 5:00
Sept. 25 Away West Stokes 5:00
Sept. 27 Mount Airy East Surry/Mount Airy
Sept. 30 Home Carver 5:00
Oct. 1 Home Alleghany 5:00
Oct. 2 Home Surry Central 5:00
Oct. 7 Away South Stokes 5:00
Oct. 8 Away Alleghany 5:00
Oct. 9 Home Forbush 5:00
Oct. 13-15 South Stokes WPAC Tournament