Many of Erwin volleyball’s longest rallies have transpired in practice this season.
And players are diving all over the Buncombe County school’s newly-renovated gym floor, even on afternoons when there aren’t matches, as was the case Wednesday.
That bodes well for the Warriors (2-0), who third-year coach Amanda Sprouse-Simpkins calls “fearless.”
“It’s a really promising group. They’re super-competitive,” Sprouse-Simpkins said.
“We’re really looking forward to this season. Our conference (the Mountain Athletic 3-A/4-A) is going to be as tough as it usually is, but we’re excited about it.”
Last year’s Erwin team compiled one of the best seasons in school history (12-11) and seven seniors are back – Megan Cain, Morgan Leonard, Lauren Davis, Kaitlyn Ward, Erica Smith, Mariah Reid and Heidi Raines.
Cain, Davis and Reid are the Warriors’ captains.
“We’re not going to settle for just doing good enough (to win) this year,” said Davis, who is Erwin’s only returning All-MAC selection from 2013.
“We’ve bonded and everything is really coming along.”
“We want to do more this season,” Reid added.
So far, Erwin has not been seriously tested. The Warriors have swept both Mountain Heritage and Madison this week and are back home Thursday for a 6 p.m. nonconference game against Tuscola.
MAC play starts Aug. 28 at home against Reynolds.
Davis had six kills, six aces, 12 digs and 26 assists in Tuesday’s 3-0 sweep of Madison (25-23, 25-9 and 25-11). Reid added 10 kills, two blocks and two aces, Cain chipped in seven digs and 10 assists. And finally, Kendra Griffin made eight kills to go along with three blocks and three aces.
Sprouse-Simpkins said that Griffin and sophomore Treasure Bailey have been superb so far as middle hitters.
“We’re all really pumped-up for this season,” Cain said.
“We couldn’t wait to get it started.”