Etowah spiking competition
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
August 24, 2013 01:37 AM | 1700 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the contributions of players like sophomore Paige Horton, Etowah’s volleyball team has won seven of its first eight matches.
<BR>Staff photo by Todd Hull
With the contributions of players like sophomore Paige Horton, Etowah’s volleyball team has won seven of its first eight matches.
Staff photo by Todd Hull
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WOODSTOCK — The season is young, but Etowah volleyball coach Kim Robertson may have found a winning combination.

Roughly a week into the season, the Lady Eagles are 7-1 — their lone loss coming to longtime volleyball power Pope in the Sequoyah Classic.

Since last week’s tournament — which included victories over East Coweta, Sprayberry, Kennesaw Mountain and Apalachee — Etowah has added wins against Riverwood, Parkview and Allatoona.

“We started off the season with a good showing in the Sequoyah Classic,” Robertson said. “I just feel like the chemistry of these girls is clicking very well.

Robertson attributed that chemistry to the fact that several of her players have played together for a while, both at Etowah and on club teams. There are no freshmen on the team.

“These seniors are used to winning,” Robertson said. “They were on an undefeated freshman team. The combination of the seniors we have, and the few juniors and sophomores that we have, complement each other well. There is a lot of depth at each position.”

Etowah has a set starting lineup, but with the Lady Eagles often winning handily, many reserves have also seen action.

“We have been successful with changing up the lineup,” Robertson said.

Among the players off to strong starts are kills leader Natalie Lucco, a sophomore outside hitter who has combined with senior Jenna Lea, a three-year varsity player, as a strong attacking combination for the Lady Eagles.

Still, Robertson feels the team’s area of strength is its defense. Between solid blocking and good players in the back row, Robertson said not much gets past her players.

“We just have fundamentally sound kids,” she said. “I think the key to this team is they are versatile players.”

Senior libero Ellie Elson is another team leader.

“She is a very consistent player,” Robertson said. “She is a very consistent server, and between her and the other girl in the back, Madeline Gilmer, they won’t let a whole lot of balls hit the floor.”

Senior Taylor Kimber, who also plays basketball, and sophomore Paige Horton are additional staples in the lineup. Horton played varsity as a freshman, and she has come on strong already this year.

“She has really picked up her game as a sophomore,” Robertson said. “She has been a very good surprise.”

Next up for Etowah is today’s Warrior Classic at North Cobb. The Lady Eagles will face Starr’s Mill, North Gwinnett, Norcross and Sandy Creek in the day-long event.

While Area 4AAAAAA play won’t begin until the second week of September, Robertson believe the team’s non-area schedule will prepare Etowah well.

“Seeing all these different teams — even if they are in different classifications, sometimes you are playing the No. 1 in the state in that class —does prepare you for area play,” Robertson said. “At least, that’s what we hope we are doing.”
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