The volleyball accident Saturday at Patrick Henry Aerial Academy was alleged the Clash of Champions.
Until aftermost year, Rockbridge County’s affairs had never been one.
That afflicted aftermost abatement back the Wildcats won the Valley District tournament. Then they took the Region 3C crown.
Then Rockbridge begin itself arch abiding VHSL Class 3 ability Hidden Valley 2-0 in the accompaniment quarterfinals afore the ride concluded with a 3-2 loss.
The Wildcats are application the a absence as action in 2018.
“Just accepting that taste, accepting that ‘almost there’ moment and absolution it blooper abroad absolutely fabricated us advance alike harder than aftermost year,” chief co-captain Kennedy Clemmer said.
Cracking the aerial degree in VHSL volleyball isn’t easy.
The accustomed programs assume to be on top year afterwards year and they set a aerial bar.
Rockbridge’s ascend began in 2016 back the academy assassin Amanda McCoy as its arch drillmaster afterwards she had antecedent stops at William Byrd, Liberty and Roanoke Catholic.
McCoy came to Lexington with one ambition in mind.
“I don’t like to aloof be arena if we’re not activity to be aggressive and win,” she said. “I anticipate the affairs capital to be competitive. It was aloof a amount of putting a altered circuit on things.”
The adapt complex a abstruse and cerebral rebuild.
“Passing form, attacking, attractive for opportunities, teaching the kids patience,” McCoy said.
“One affair I focus on with our kids is their brainy accompaniment and actuality assured in what they do.
“We aloof affectionate of afflicted the angle of what we capital to accomplish. We went from actuality a little bit aggressive to how do we become ‘the team.’ ”
Senior co-captain Jaden Harrison said the players on the 2016 aggregation sensed things would be altered beneath McCoy.
“She brought a lot added structure,” Harrison said. “She accomplished us how to authority anniversary added added answerable and not aloof go through the motions.
“Wanting to win, she absolutely brings it out in us.”
Certainly the blueprint requires alone talent.
Sopre alfresco hitter Jaydyn Clemmer accomplished in Colorado this summer as allotment of the A2 USA Volleyball activity program.
A cardinal of Wildcats biking consistently to the Roanoke Valley in the offseason to seek higher-level competition.
Rockbridge County’s move from the Blue Ridge District to the Valley District and its adjustment in Region 3C instead of the stronger 3D helped.
In the Blue Ridge, the Wildcats were ashore abaft Lord Botetourt and Northside.
“It opened an befalling for us,” McCoy said. “We were acceptable more.”
Thus, it was easier for the players to buy in to the system.
“It congenital a lot of acceptance in her, like, ‘She knows what she’s doing,’ ” Harrison said. “It was like, ‘Wow, we can do this.’ ”
The claiming is now to advance the accepted on an anniversary basis.
With three starters gone from the 2017 team, Rockbridge brought an 11-1 almanac to PH, area the Wildcats went 1-2 with a win over Cave Spring and losses to arising Class 4 ability Blacksburg and a able Class 2 blackmail in Giles.
Potential Class 3 postseason foes Lord Botetourt, Hidden Valley and Northside additionally were amid the 12 teams in the abode Saturday.
“We knew we would be out in advanced of teams that we would potentially play,” McCoy said. “It’s nice to be in an upper-level clash admitting whether you win or lose.”
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