JASPER — At first glance, the Hamilton County High volleyball team appears headed for a rebuilding year, having lost five seniors from last season.
It’s not all fresh faces though, with first-year coach Katie Ginn impressed with pre-season workouts and a couple new seniors.
“Returning players senior Chloe Nabors and junior Sam Corby have stepped into leadership roles,” Ginn said. “Chloe will be leading our offense as setter and Sam will lead our defense as libero. I am very pleased with their commitment to our team.
“The goal for this year is to grow as a team.”
The setter, a critical position in volleyball, decides who gets the ball and must deliver a good ball to hit. A libero is a defensive specialist.
Other key players for the Trojans are middle blockers Pedja Cooks and Lexi Perrin and outside hitters Taylor Smith and Kayla Marshall. Rounding out the team are Triston Carter, who moved up from JV, will be a right-side hitter and serving specialist, and Skyleigh Gaskings, a transfer student, is a first-year player.
The first match for the Trojans will be at home today at 6 p.m. against Valdosta. The junior varsity, led by new coach Linda Newsome, will play at 5 p.m.
Valdosta volleyball is in its third season, and made it to the Sweet 16 in the Georgia state playoffs last year.
Ginn, an alumna and four-year starter at Hamilton High, was promoted from JV coach. Ginn added that last year varsity coach Ruben Perez and assistant Hannah Perez, who is his wife, will be coaching the middle school team this year and will also help out the varsity. Perez coached the Trojans’ volleyball team for 10 years.
“Coach Newsome and I are grateful to have both Ruben and Hannah Perez staying on staff as we continue to build our team,” Ginn added.
The Trojans will compete in Class 1A, District 5, which includes Hilliard, Lafayette, Madison County and Taylor County.