By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
As a coach and fan, you always look for a sliver lining when a season ends and the South Laurel volleyball team is no different.
The South Laurel Lady Cardinals provided their fans with two of the most exciting matches of the season, forcing five-set matches against eventual 13th Region Champion Corbin in the district and region tournaments.
The bad part of that is that both matches included South Laurel collapses after taking 2-0 leads in both contests, only to drop the final three sets of each match.
Despite the dramatic ending to the 2012 season, South Laurel head coach Fawn Greer said she was happy with the overall product her team produced when all was said and done.
“Our kids did a great job of improving over the course of the season,” Greer said. “They did anything we asked them to do to get better and I think by the time the season was over, our improvement was very obvious.
“The way things ended was not what we wanted, but that just solidifies a few points we had preaching all season,” she added. “We’re always telling our kids that a lot of volleyball is mental and, even though we had gotten much better with that type of stuff, that’s what I think got to us as the season wound down.”
The Lady Cardinals were 12-7 against 13th Region foes on the year, with five of the seven losses coming at the hands of Corbin. The other two losses were to Whitley County and Jackson County.
As for what the Lady Cardinals will have to deal with next season, Greer said she will have to replace six seniors from this year’s team. The Lady Cardinals will lose Taylor Arthur, Alyson Croley, Amy Cummins, Tara Deaton, Cassandra Johnson and Josey Mounce.
She said when it comes to filling those empty spots, she’ll have her work cut out for her.
“It’s going to be tough, but I think we have some kids that are willing to step up into those roles,” Greer said. “That’s the most important part of filling spots. You have to have kids that are willing to be in those important spots and help lead the way.
“I think we have some kids that are willing to be leaders,” she added.
One of the most important aspects of next season is how the team will fill the time in the offseason. Greer said she expects several of her players to take part in club volleyball, which allows them to play in the high school team’s offseason.
“We have a few girls that are going to play club ball and that’s exciting as a coach to know they’re willing to work on their game on their own time,” she said. “Any time kids are willing to do that, it lets you know they are dedicated.
“The kids that won’t play club ball will be working on other aspects of their game, so I expect everyone to be a little better next season,” she added.