Troy Buchanan volleyball players have spent the summer lifting weights and hitting open gym hours as they compete against each other and hone their individual skills. Tryouts for the varsity, junior varsity, and freshman teams were on Aug. 12, and Head Coach Jessica Wilson estimated that around 45 girls would show up based on how many players have been at camps, weights, and open-gym.

“We had a summer camp on July 15 that went for four days. You get a lot of conversations with the girls,” Wilson said, “We had a lot of competition going on, a lot of one-on-one time with the girls during that week so it was a positive experience for those who were able to make it.”

Besides camp, girls have been able to attend weights, and open gym has been offered at least once a week since April, and twice a week since June with gym time lasting an hour and a half. Wilson expressed hope that this summer’s fighting spirit will continue into the season.

“A majority of these girls who are coming out for tryouts have been going to weights all summer, and then right after that coming into my gym,” Wilson said. “So seeing how they’re working so hard outside of my court, but still showing up and putting in that effort and not using that as an excuse tells me a lot about their character and what they’re willing to sacrifice to get there.”

This is Wilson’s second year as head coach, with last season ending with seven wins, nineteen losses and two ties. Wilson shared that the season’s record was an improvement from previous years, and she wants to continue to build the program into a force to be reckoned with. 

“I’m hoping this year seeing how the girls are fighting in the gym already competing for spots that that’s going to roll into the season,” Wilson said, “We’ve been a losing program for a while, and so I just want to build back the volleyball program to be winning, to teach these girls what it feels like to compete and come out on top, and I think last year we started to gain confidence in that, and they started to believe in doing that.”

Two students that have stood out to Coach Wilson during the summer are Sydney Davis and Allison Garrick. Davis is returning as a third year setter on the varsity team, a position that leads the team and helps keep energy high on the court.

“I think she has come in a lot stronger this year, and even with conditioning just being able to run the court a little bit faster than in the past.” Wilson said.

Garrick is an incoming junior, and Wilson said she has “transformed” the way she plays, along with her approach and defense for the team.

“It’s exciting. To see kids putting work in the off season, and then coming in with a bit of a different presence.” Wilson said.

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