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The Spartan Review

The Student News Site of Athens Academy

The Spartan Review

The Student News Site of Athens Academy

The Spartan Review

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A Bright Future for the Athens Academy Volleyball Team

Photo+of+Varsity+Volleyball+Team.+Pictured+from+Top+Left+to+Bottom+Right%3A+Nina+Kline%2C+Veronika+Babbitt%2C+Emma-Jane+Kirk%2C+Sally+Swann%2C+Millie+Pugmire%2C+Reese+Jarrard%2C+Jiya+Patel%2C+Caddie+Grow%2C+Chloe+Love-Bell%0A
Coach Thomas
Photo of Varsity Volleyball Team. Pictured from Top Left to Bottom Right: Nina Kline, Veronika Babbitt, Emma-Jane Kirk, Sally Swann, Millie Pugmire, Reese Jarrard, Jiya Patel, Caddie Grow, Chloe Love-Bell

This is a new year for the Athens Academy Volleyball Team. Five seniors graduated last year, and there are only four returning players. The other five players are freshmen. This is a new team, and that brings with it some challenges but also plenty of opportunities.

While the team might not have as much experience as in previous years, they still have lots of energy, and they love to compete. They are working hard in practice and improving every day. It’s a small team, and every member has an important role to play.

Jiya Patel and Nina Kline are two returning members of the volleyball team this year. When a leader is needed on the floor, they are able to step up and fill that role. Patel, the captain of the team, is the only senior this year. She plays the position of setter, which means she plays the entire game. She says, “We are doing great for how young and new our team is.”

Kline, a junior and middle hitter, also plays in the back row. This is her last season playing with Patel, and she is doing her best to savor every moment. She says, “I am excited to see what we can do because everybody has great potential, and we have all had awesome moments in games that show our skill level and ingenuity on the court.”

Due to the new team dynamic, some members of the team are playing different positions than they did last year. Kline only played in the back row for one rotation last year. Now, being middle back is a part of her role on the team. Reese Jarrard, another junior on the team, is also playing a new position.

Last year, on JV, she was an outside hitter. Now, she plays right back. Jarrard says, “I think we all carry a lot of responsibility for our teammates.”

Jiya, Nina, and Reese agree that the team has done a good job of bonding. Patel stated, “It’s really cool to have such a tight-knit team. We are all great friends and get along great.” Kline adds, “I just have been really enjoying strengthening bonds with my teammates from last year as well as forming new ones with the freshmen.” Jarrard says, “I am excited for the rest of the season. So far it’s been a blast!”

Coach Thomas, the coach of the varsity team, has been coaching at Athens Academy for thirteen years. She says the team needs to gain more match experience, but that will come with time. According to Thomas, “This is an exciting time for Athens Academy volleyball. With so many young players on both the JV and Varsity teams, the future looks bright!”

The team has a busy schedule, playing several games a week into October. On Tuesday, October 3rd, they play against Providence Christian Academy and Banks County High School. They play again that Thursday, October 5th, against Fellowship Christian and Blessed Trinity High School. Go Spartans!

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About the Contributor
Riley Harding, Sports Section Editor
Riley Harding is a sophomore at Athens Academy, and she is the editor for the Sports Section. This is her first year editing for the Spartan Review, and she is excited to have this opportunity. She's a member of the Athens Academy Swim Team, and she is also a member of the Creative Writing Club, where she spends her time working on her novel. She spends most of her free time reading.

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