COVINGTON - Alcovy head coach Amanda Briggs is hoping that an older and more mature team will translate into a winning season.
While Briggs said all the girls have made significant improvements since last season, she said their newfound maturity as a group is going to make a difference.
"Maturity has helped," Briggs said. "I think my girls work well as a combined team, and that is our advantage."
Leading the team to a higher level are returners Ashley Jacobson, Leah Anderson, Holly Oakes and Ashley Grant.
"I think Leah and Ashley (Jacobson) will emerge as the leaders. All of the girls have made significant improvements," Briggs added.
Besides the returners, Briggs is also expecting big plays from Brittany Jacobson and Breanna Sims.
The two new varsity players played on the Lady Tigers junior varsity team last season and moved up to varsity for a few games.
They are going to be important members of the team immediately as both are both strong servers and hitters.
One way Briggs plans to bring the team to the forefront of area play and hopefully deep into the Class AAAA playoffs is by focusing on teamwork and fortitude.
"My goal is to work on our teamwork and not giving up in tough situations," Briggs said. "We have worked very hard over the summer, and many of the girls attended a camp we held at Alcovy. The camp taught us all quite a bit."
The Lady Tigers missed the playoffs as Dutchtown, Ola, Jonesboro and Forest Park advanced from Area 4-AAAA last season.
Along with the four playoffs team, Alcovy will also have to contend with Mount Zion, North Clayton, Stockbridge and Fulton County's new school Langston Hughes.
"Our biggest threat is probably Jonesboro, they were a strong hitting team," said Briggs. "I am not sure who the region teams have coming back, and we are going to take our opponents one at a time and not get ahead of ourselves."
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: At a glance
· Team: Alcovy volleyball
· Coach: Amanda Briggs (second year)
· Last year's record: 8-32
· First match: Aug. 18 at Alcovy with Newton and Woodland