Robesonian

Volleyball teams get prepped for season at jamboree

LUMBERTON — All six Robeson County volleyball teams congregated at Lumberton High School on Saturday to take part in the fourth annual volleyball jamboree.

For many teams, this was their first taste of live volleyball action before the season starts up this week.

The six coaches provided their take on what’s ahead for their teams in the 2018 season.

Fairmont

2017 record: 17-5, 15-3 TRC; second round of the state playoffs

Top returners: MacKenzie Johnson, Sr.; Mya Hunt, Sr.; Allyson Pope, Sr.

Coach Michael Baker’s take: “We’ve got a whole new lineup. They are going to give me all they got, but we are lacking experience. I think by the time we get to the middle of the season, we should be all right. We have just got to learn each other. I’m going to be a mad scientist this year trying to put them together.”

Lumberton

2017 record: 9-13, 5-10 SAC

Top returners: Katie Kinlaw, Sr.; Rachel O’Neil, Sr.; Madison Canady, Sr.; Alexandria Simpson, Sr.

Coach Tre’ Britt’s take: “We’ve got nine seniors and it’s a great group of girls. Hopefully with the three years they have been in the program, it will eventually pay off. They know what I expect and what my standards are and it’s like having coaches out on the court. I want to win the conference, they want to win the conference and see how far we can keep playing.”

Purnell Swett

2017 record: 7-13, 3-11 SAC

Top returners: Khalie Jones. Sr.; Keely Jones, Sr.; Nyasia Jackson, Sr.

Coach Corey Deese’s take: “I’m so excited to be back. I’ve missed this program. There’s tons of potential on this team and they are very young. We’re dominant with sophomores and freshmen and that’s a good thing. We’re excited to get it started. We had some little kinks to work out, but we are showing progress.”

Red Springs

2017 record: 7-13, 6-12 TRC; first-round appearance in the state playoffs

Top returners: Winter Chavis, Jr.; Jalexis Bratcher, Sr.; Omaryah McMillan, Jr.

Coach April Cooper’s take: “We have a young and old team at the same time. Our starters are mostly seniors, and the second string is really young. I think it should be a good season. We still have a lot of learning to do, but we are getting through all the kinks.”

South Robeson

2017 record: 8-14, 6-12 TRC

Top returners: Hailey Werrell, Jr.; Nytia Lewis, Sr.; Tehya Bullard, Sr.

Coach Susan Waldie’s take: “They are kind of young and I have a decent group of seniors. Our ball control is getting better every game, which is exciting. I’ve got some size at the net. We’re just working hard every day.”

St. Pauls

2017 record: 3-19, 3-15 TRC

Top returners: Savanna Lowery, So.; Sadasiah Bissett, Jr.; Michelle Cristobal, Jr.

Coach Jory Barnes’ take: “We have a bigger team than we usually have, size wise and numbers wise. I’ve got a young team because I graduated six seniors last year. I think we will look pretty good. We have had our middle school coach start a travel ball season, and that’s where these 10th and 11th graders are coming from. They are playing all year.”

Jonathan Bym | The Robesonian Lumberton senior Alexandria Simpson spikes the ball against Purnell Swett’s Mackenzie Swett on Saturday at the county volleyball jamboree.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_Simpson_ne201881122302617.jpgJonathan Bym | The Robesonian Lumberton senior Alexandria Simpson spikes the ball against Purnell Swett’s Mackenzie Swett on Saturday at the county volleyball jamboree.
Jonathan Bym | The Robesonian St. Pauls’ Brianna Brewer tosses a ball up to serve.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_Brewer_ne201881122308720.jpgJonathan Bym | The Robesonian St. Pauls’ Brianna Brewer tosses a ball up to serve.
Jonathan Bym | The Robesonian Fairmont’s Mya Hunt goes up for an attack past the blocks of South Robeson’s Hailey Werrell (11) and China Locklear (14).
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_Hunt_ne201881122301466.jpgJonathan Bym | The Robesonian Fairmont’s Mya Hunt goes up for an attack past the blocks of South Robeson’s Hailey Werrell (11) and China Locklear (14).

By Jonathan Bym

Sports editor

Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at jbym@robesonian.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.