Making it through the season with only one loss, North Paulding was at the top of the region standings with Allatoona, Villa Rica and Hiram rounding out the top four. The team is 24-2 on the season and will face Allatoona and Villa Rica Tuesday at Allatoona.
This year the team was greeted by a new head volleyball coach, Geoff Gardener. While Gardener had his doubts about coming in and throwing the girls off track, he has been pleasantly surprised at how wrong he was.
“I was initially worried the team wouldn’t be able to pick up where they left off last season; however, the girls seemed to have made the transition well and have continued to amaze me each day,” Gardener said.
From 2008 to 2011, the Lady Wolfpack have played between 37 and 51 matches a season, making this year’s 25 matches a piece of cake for the dominating team.
“The amount of games in previous seasons has helped the girls prepare for this season. More practice leads to more wins,” Gardener said.
While more practices may be a big part in the team’s success, Gardener said the key is to not get overworked, stay energetic and really want to play each game.
Alea Gentles, Kenzie Harris, Conley and Rikki Dianto are statistical leaders. However, Gardener made it clear that his two captains, Hannah Gray and Kayla Morgan, are the main team leaders, on and off the court.
“On the court, Hannah, our libero, does a great job of getting the other girls moving and playing smart. Kayla, a defensive specialist, is great at getting the girls pumped up prior to and during the game. She has also organized some team activities off court,” Gardener said.
At this point finishing out the season as region champs is “top priority” and Gardener has “complete confidence” in his team as “the girls have shown they want to win every time they step foot on the court”.
While having such a great record for his first year coach has made the season unforgettable already, Gardener said being region champs would be icing on the cake and “if anyone can do it, it is this group of girls.”