Molly Buckner entered her final season with the Greenbrier High School volleyball team as the squad's lone senior.
The team returned just three players and was playing in a new region after winning the 3-AAAA title in 2008.
The Wolfpack could have chalked up their first season in Region 2-AAAAA as a rebuilding year.
But the young Greenbrier players came together and Buckner ended her senior season in style, with the Wolfpack winning their sixth region title of the decade and her signing last week to play at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta.
"She had a lot of support from the underclassmen," volleyball coach Debbie Born said. "So she didn't have to do it by herself, which was good."
Buckner plays volleyball year-round with the CSRA Heat traveling club. When she decided after her junior year to pursue the chance to play college volleyball, she met with Born to make a skills tape.
Buckner's father, Ed, who served as the team's scorekeeper, edited the tape and sent it out.
Molly Buckner's choice was between Oglethorpe and Mercer. She had received other interest, but not from schools offering the major she wanted. Buckner said Oglethorpe was working with her to develop a communications degree with a concentration in advertising, with the goal of going into public relations.
"I really like the campus," Buckner said. "It's about 10 minutes from my grandparents, so my whole family's there. And the coach is great."
Oglethorpe volleyball coach Kurt Matthews was on hand for Buckner's signing. He couldn't talk about his newest player, because her scholarship acceptance was non-binding at the Division III level.
Born had positive things to say about how her calm demeanor helped keep the Wolfpack grounded this season.
"If it's not working, she just keeps working at it," Born said. "You don't see this really high and really low. She's a calming person."
Calming, but not quiet, Buckner said. The senior pointed to her ability to be vocal on the court as a strength.
"I'm really loud," she said. "In Heat right now, it's me and one other girl (who are) the loudest on the court, and we always keep everybody talking."
Born and her team will miss that next season. Buckner said she would return to Greenbrier for as many home matches as she could next year. And Oglethorpe won't be far from many of the Wolfpack's region opponents.
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