The Alcovy Lady Tigers volleyball team is under a new regime as head coach, Khelsea Willis, takes over the program looking to spark new life and determination in the team after several subpar seasons.
While Willis is new to coaching overall, she brings a ton of experience. She played with the Boys and Girls Club in Metro Atlanta before moving through the high school and club level. It is with this experience that she hopes to use to steer the Tigers into the right direction.
“As far as raising the bar, we have held a Saturday Skills Clinic with Atlanta Elite Volleyball University to increase and perfect skill level,” Willis said. “We participated in summer scrimmages hosted by Eastside, with Salem and Jackson County, as well as a scrimmage hosted by Morgan County. These opportunities allow the girls early starts with game play scenarios and the chance to address imperfections early before the season.”
As for players that Coach Willis is looking for to lead the team in a new direction, she noted that all of her players take the lead in some aspect at one point or another, but she mentioned junior Katherine Hopson, and senior Rachel Culberson as two girls that stand out due to their willingness to support her, as well as giving and receiving the appropriate constructive criticism needed to make the necessary adjustments to the team.
"My goal for the season is to try to make it a memorable senior year and increase my level of skill," Culberson said. "As for the team, I think a realistic goal would be to at least half of our games."
Willis’ opinion on the overall team goal is something she believes is unanimously considered the biggest key to success for a team full of young players.
“From what I hear girls saying during practice and through conversation, I would think that the team’s biggest goal this season is to increase game communication and get some great spikes,” she said. Culberson echoed the same sentiment noting that communucation and trust are important factors the team can work on.
After a barrage of summer scrimmages and practices, she thinks the team will be fully loaded and ready to go early in the season.
“I definitely believe they will be ready to fight!” she said. They have already impressed me during summer scrimmages, and I expect nothing less than great matches from them.”
Although the program has not been the best around historically, a team full of youth, skill, and a lot of determination could be exactly what the Willis and Tigers need to turn their fortunes around and take the team to next level success.