By Evan Grice
While the new season is still more than a year away for the Piedmont Lady Wildcats volleyball team, five of its players were recently chosen to play on a very competitive club team.
Bailey Banks, Anna Young, Kasidi Hardy, Kellee Coker and Kailey LaFollette were all selected to play on the Creek Volleyball Under-17 squad, which will be playing throughout the summer.
Creek Volleyball Club, which is based out of Oklahoma City, is known for producing some of the most successful club teams and developing young players at the same time.
“This club team is going to be very beneficial for all of us as a team,” Coker said. “Especially since they are running the same offense we are as a school. The extra practice and playing time is only going to make us that much better next season.”
Piedmont head coach Brad Brucker said he’s thrilled that four of his returning starters have a chance to play together this offseason, and work under the same offense the Lady Wildcats run as well.
“This opportunity is huge for us, and quite frankly it couldn’t have worked out any better,” he said. “The girls went through a series of tryouts and were then chosen to participate on different teams. It’s great because they will be running the same type of offense that we were running during the season. It was a little complicated for these girls last season, but by the time next season comes around, they will know it better than I will.”
“Not only will four of my returning starters be playing together all summer, but Kellee will get a chance to be around the system as well,” Brucker added. “That’s going to be huge for her development going into next season for us.”
Naturally, all of the Lady Wildcat players that made the squad were just as equally excited about the chance to play together, and improve as a group this summer.
“I feel really good and pumped about making the team to be honest,” Anna Young said. “Since we’ve got a lot of Piedmont players on the team, we’re all going to get better together. This is giving us the chance to play at a faster pace and a higher level. It’s only going to make us more prepared for next season.”
Kailey LaFollette echoed the thoughts of her teammate, adding that she was slightly nervous during tryouts.
“For me, tryouts were more mentally hard than physically,” she said. “Mainly because I always want to do the best that I can, so I put a lot of pressure on myself. I’m very excited to see how much we can improve as a team through our club volleyball season.”
“This is going to be a very intense club season with a very competitive team,” Bailey Banks added. “I’m just super excited to be able to play with my teammates and improve over the summer.”
Setter Kasidi Hardy said this is just a reflection of how hard she and her teammates are working to make next season that much better for Piedmont volleyball.
“This is a big accomplishment for all of us to make a team like this at such a high level,” she said. “We’re going to continue to grow as a team and get better as a whole. We’re all putting in a lot of hard work and dedication for next season and this is going to help all of us tremendously.”
Piedmont finished this season with a school record in wins, along with earning the programs first trophy at the Westmoore Tournament.
Hardy, Young, Banks, and LaFollette will all be returning varsity starters next season along with Skylar Mylonas and Lindsey Malone.
Astion Howe is another Lady Wildcat volleyball player that will be playing on the Creek Club team.