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Coach expects young volleyball teams to show improvement

By Keeli Parkey

The Jr. Lady Devil junior varsity volleyball team includes, pictured from left, back row, assistant coach Elana Pate, Rachel Hatcher, Olivia Bailey, Emalee Bernard, Tiffany Boyd, Dora Benton and head coach Sara Hubbard; front row, Rocio Reynoso, Natilee Clouse, Bella Davis, Raquel Torres, Katie Hensley and Sydney Compton. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Keeli Parkey)
The Jr. Lady Devil junior varsity volleyball team includes, pictured from left, back row, assistant coach Elana Pate, Rachel Hatcher, Olivia Bailey, Emalee Bernard, Tiffany Boyd, Dora Benton and head coach Sara Hubbard; front row, Rocio Reynoso, Natilee Clouse, Bella Davis, Raquel Torres, Katie Hensley and Sydney Compton.
The Jr. Lady Devil varsity volleyball team includes, pictured from left, back row, assistant coach Elana Pate, Hannah Shelton, Ashley Clayton, Alleea Shell, Savannah Sparks, Emalee Benard and head coach Sara Hubbard; front row, Rocio Reynoso, Mairead O’Hare, Rachel Hatcher, Faith Simmons and Raquel Torres. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Keeli Parkey)
The Jr. Lady Devil varsity volleyball team includes, pictured from left, back row, assistant coach Elana Pate, Hannah Shelton, Ashley Clayton, Alleea Shell, Savannah Sparks, Emalee Benard and head coach Sara Hubbard; front row, Rocio Reynoso, Mairead O’Hare, Rachel Hatcher, Faith Simmons and Raquel Torres. (Erwin Record Staff Photos by Keeli Parkey)

Coach Sara Hubbard expects her teams’ hard work to pay off by the end of the middle school volleyball season.

“Our current record is 0-4 for both JV and varsity, but I definitely expect the wins to increase as their skills are improving,” Hubbard recently told The Erwin Record. “This is a hard working team, so I definitely see a turnaround coming soon.”

Losses this season have come at the hands of Greeneville, T.A. Dugger, Vance and Ross Robinson middle schools.

Hubbard said her players began preparing for the season in July.

“My team has worked really hard to prepare for this season,” she said. “Because this is middle school and they are just starting out with competitive sports, we have talked about the importance of proper nutrition for athletes. We have also learned about the target muscles used in volleyball and have strived to build those this season. We have done endurance training, speed training, and strength training to enhance their skills and athleticism.”

A lack of experience has Hubbard, and assistant coach Elana Pate, focusing on teaching their players the basics of volleyball.

“I have a very young team this year, so we have been working on perfecting the fundamental skills, so that we can advance them later in the season,” Hubbard said. “These girls have an eagerness and a desire to learn this game. They encourage each other and celebrate each other when goals are met. They motivate each other to be the best they can be, which is essential to a good team. I expect to see tremendous growth, not only in volleyball skills, but also as respectable young ladies.”

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The Jr. Lady Devils were scheduled to face Liberty Bell on Monday, Aug. 29, and Ross Robinson on Tuesday, Aug. 30, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline.

The teams are scheduled to make a trip to Kingsport to face Sevier Middle School on Thursday, Sept. 1. The junior varsity match is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity match.