Back to basics for Lady Tigers volleyball
New coach wants team to master fundamentals

COVINGTON - A new coach will hopefully mean a new demeanor as the Alcovy volleyball team tries to turn a good off-season into wins next season.

However, before the Lady Tigers can begin to talk about winning, they first have to correctly learn the basics.

"Last year, we did not have as many girls with an overhand serve as I would've like to have seen but I see potential in them. It's just that we're building and learning from the ground up," Alcovy coach Amanda Briggs said. "We have to start with the fundamentals and get those down before we move on to anything basic. I'd like to see us having mastered the fundamentals by the time we get to tryouts - basic passing, setting serving skills."

Different from last year is that most of the 10 to 15 girls which attend the practices are also going to a team camp at Georgia Tech.

Last summer only two girls practiced outside the four weeks of limited practice held at the school.

"We've had open gym every day since summer started and will continue until school starts," Briggs said. "The girls are also in the weight room this year which is something we didn't do last year. For the summer, I'd like to see their physical shape overall improve. Right now, we're running a mile."

Leading the way at practice are starting returners Ebony Patrick, Megan Watson, Lacey Ivey and Ashley Jacobson.

Making Briggs' job more difficult is that of the four returning players only Jacobson and Watson have been playing for at least three years. The rest are either brand new to the game or they have been playing for only a year or two. Also making coaching more difficult is the lack of a true experienced leader.

"That's why I'm worried about fundamentals and building from the ground up and trying to be more competitive this year and do the same thing next year and the year after that," Briggs said. "Lack of leadership, that's the big challenge right now. I don't have a girl that really stands out and takes a hold of things."

Briggs likes what she sees from Holley Oakes and Ashley Grant, who are really making strides during summer practice.

"I have a brand new girl coming out, she played soccer last year, Holley Oakes. She's brand new to volleyball and shows a lot of potential," Briggs said. "I have a girl coming up from the ninth grade, too, Ashley Grant, who has a lot of potential. They both have a lot of athleticism."

Manny Fils can be reached at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.