COVINGTON, Ga. — One thing has been apparent all summer long to head coach Maggie Johnston concerning Eastside volleyball. In her seven years of coaching the Lady Eagles, Johnston pointed to the wide array of personalities on this year’s squad as the main difference compared to years past.
That difference has dominated this summer full of scrimmages and workouts.
“The primary focus has been getting them comfortable enough to talk to one another and understand that we’re all one family,” Johnston said. “We need to support one another on and off the court.”
Communication, hustle and honing in on the detail nature of playing volleyball has helped carry the Lady Eagles this summer, according to Johnston, working toward competing as one unit.
Additionally, there have also been some individuals to help pull the team together.
Bailey Franklin, Payton Robinson, Ansley Tilson, Madison Cluff and Lauren Hall caught the attention of their head coach. But, for Johnston, it’s going to be a team effort in 2022.
“I always tell the girls that every single one of them has a captain quality,” Johnston said. “This person may be able to bring in the court leadership that we need and this person might be able to bring in the family aspect that we need.”
Last year, Eastside finished 13-14 overall with a 2-5 record in Region 8-AAAAA, which placed them sixth in the region standings.
However, Johnston stressed that the desire of seeing her team come together is to help improve the Lady Eagles’ chances of achieving their ultimate goal.
“Genuinely for me, it is to see everything we’re capable of come out in our matches,” Johnston said. “Sometimes, you see this piece or that piece in a match and you don’t see it come full circle. That’s what we did last year. We had the whole picture maybe once. I want to see it where everyone is playing the best they can, everyone knows their role for as many matches as possible.”
Eastside’s 2022 schedule commences on Aug. 9 at Eagle’s Landing Christian.