Providence Classical Christian School, in Oxford, will begin their ninth volleyball season this fall. Players have been preparing during the summer and are looking forward to a great season. The Warriors will be building off a 2015 campaign that brought a runner up finish in the GICAA Division II-A Northeast Region.
The Warriors qualified for the GICAA State Tournament last season but lost in the first round. Providence will be competing in the South Region this year.
“Last season, there was steady improvement throughout the season and we hope to continue that this year,” said head coach Michael Sabo. “We have some big roles to fill as we saw four-year starter Bailey Lyles graduate. Bailey was one of the best players we have at Providence. She really helped us get to where we are today. This is one of the exciting aspects of high school sports as you watch others come along and step up to play and lead. We have some ladies who are hungry and ready to help us move forward as a program.”
The Warriors will be returning four starters from last season and will be led by senior opposite hitter Sydney Lyles, junior outside hitter Alexis Johnson and middle blocker Emily Lent. Freshmen middle blocker Emma Kate and setter Jaynie Roper have already seen significant varsity level experience and are expecting to make major contributions this season.
According to Sabo, Madison Stanley, Emily Denard, Tabea Lent and Cassidy Robinson will also be working to make an impact at the varsity level this season.
The Warriors will be playing a tough non-region schedule this season that will include Eastside and Newton. This will be the first time that Providence has been able to share the court with these two local schools after legislation was passed last year that will allow GICAA and GHSA schools to compete against each other.
“2016 will be a challenging season,” Sabo said. “We have built a strong non-region schedule that we hope will push and challenge us. Having the opportunity to play schools like Newton and Eastside will be a great experience. We are thankful we are able to add strong opponents that are local. Our girls are looking forward to playing teams at this level. We want a tough schedule. There are some really good teams that we will have to beat if we will be successful in our league. Our girls have embraced this. I am proud of their willingness to lean into the challenge. We hope to compete well in the region and make it back to the State Tournament.”
Providence will open up play on Friday, Aug. 5 against Konos Academy in Covington and will also play in the 2016 Lanier Varsity Volleyball Tournament in Gainesville, Georgia. Tournament dates are Aug. 11-13.
The Warriors open up their region schedule the next Thursday (Aug. 18) against Central Christian.