By normal 10th-grade standards, Laura Middleton and Aidan Yeager are giants.
Evans High School sophomores Aidan Yeager(left) and Lauren Middleton, both in the 6-foot neighborhood, dominate the net during their volleyball games. The teammates, called "the Twin Towers," agree that the team's goal this season is to make it to the playoffs.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The sophomores stand about 6 feet tall, which makes them destined for a sport that showcases height.
Evans' volleyball coach C.C. Armstrong is proud to have the duo on her team.
"Anytime you can trot out a 6-footer, you usually have an advantage," Armstrong said. "It is great to have two of them on our team."
Yeager and Middleton, or the "Twin Towers," have been catalysts for a young varsity team with eight underclassmen.
"I think we have a great, young core group," Middleton said. "We can be good for a long time."
The maturation of the team has probably come slower than they or Armstrong would have liked. Experience, however, is difficult for volleyball teams because of the lack of opportunities.
"Most of these girls are playing for their first time as freshman," Armstrong recently said. "It takes a little while for them to gel."
Middleton, who stands 5-foot-11, has played the sport for only two years, and also is a standout basketball player.
"I think I'm more experienced in basketball because I've played since I was 8," she said. "I have a lot to learn in volleyball. I'm becoming more comfortable and volleyball has become a lot more important to me."
Volleyball is everything for Yeager.
The 6-foot-1-inch sophomore plays year-round volleyball with the Juniors program.
"I don't play any other sports than volleyball," said Yeager, who would like to earn a volleyball scholarship after her senior season. "It is basically everything for me."
Yeager got into volleyball after her mother made her play, a decision she is happy with now.
Little did Yeager know she could form the county's tallest front line with Middleton.
"We have a blast playing together," Middleton said. "I think some schools are intimidated because we are so tall. They tend not to set it in front of us or try to block us because they usually can't."
Middleton said she thinks the team hasn't reached its full potential because they are still intimidated by the area powers like Greenbrier.
"It is basically a mental thing," she said. "We are intimidated by certain teams and we just have to get over that. We're getting better as a team but we just have to overcome getting psyched out."
Although a netting playoff berth would be a tremendous boost for the program, it seems that the Knights will face an uphill battle the rest of the season with powers Lakeside and Greenbrier in the same area.
But the "Twin Towers" agree the playoffs are the ultimate goal.
"That is the dream," Middleton said.
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