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Greenbrier keeps title in JV volleyball

Posted: October 5, 2011 - 5:49pm
Dejhana Cotton (13) tries to block a shot by Ashlan Rosier.  Justin Williams/Staff
Justin Williams/Staff
Dejhana Cotton (13) tries to block a shot by Ashlan Rosier.

Dejhana Cotton had heard all about Greenbrier High School's dominance in the short history of the Columbia County JV Championship.

The Wolfpack had won the title in the first two years of the event.

"It's kind of intimidating," the Greenbrier freshman said. "But it makes you better as a player, knowing that you have to live up to someone else's thing that they've done; their expectations."

The Wolfpack lived up to the lofty expectations on Saturday in the school's first time playing host to the event.

Greenbrier defeated Lakeside 3-1 with scores of 25-18, 21-25, 25-23 and 25-21 in the championship match to defend its title.

Earlier, Evans edged Grovetown for third place. A.R. Johnson also competed in the event and finished fifth.

All season, the junior varsity squads play second fiddle to the varsity teams, Greenbrier head coach Danielle Coxville noted. So they enjoyed the opportunity to get the spotlight.

While the emphasis is on developing essential skills and preparing players for the varsity level, she said, they liked the competitive aspect as well.

"This is their day," Coxville said. "There are no varsity teams here, so it's all about them.

"They are pumped up," she added. "We've won it the past two years, and the ultimate goal for them every season is to win this."

The event was held at Lakeside last season and at Grovetown the inaugural year.

Grovetown head coach Greg Young said it was a day to showcase a growing talent pool of young volleyball players.

Young noted that there is not much disparity among the county's JV teams. Just one weekend prior, Grovetown defeated Greenbrier.

"It's really good to see the level of play of volleyball get up," Young said. "It's going to make varsity that much better when they get up there.

"You're seeing more of an interest in volleyball," he noted. "We're seeing more and more people try out for it every year."

For Lakeside coaches Denise Shealy and Jennifer Powell, this season has offered a unique opportunity. Formerly players at the high school level, both are coaching the sport for the first time.

"It's different, because you can't get out there and do it," Shealy said. "All you can do is talk the game and hope they take what you've said and implement what you've said. For the most part, our team is very good.

"They work together as a team and they have the fire in them to win these games."

For Evans head coach Dottie Wesley, the vital skills she tries to teach her JV players are serving, passing and on-court communication.

Wesley said the Knights' comeback to defeat Grovetown was encouraging.

"The most important thing for the girls at this age is that the game's not over until you get to the final score," she said. "We're trying to keep them motivated and push forward. ... We tell them to not get down on themselves, because everybody makes mistakes."

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