King’s Fork girls try to gel

Published 12:15 am Saturday, September 15, 2012

A difficult season continued for the King’s Fork varsity girls volleyball team on Thursday night with a 25-20, 25-12, 25-22 home loss to Western Branch.

Falling to 1-6 in the district and 4-8 overall, the general feeling among coach and players is that the Lady Bulldogs also fell short of their capability.

A King's Fork player goes for the block against Western Branch on Thursday.

“And it’s getting to kind of be a trend,” coach Sarah Porter said. “So that’s even more frustrating when I know that they can do better and we prepare, we practice hard, then we come out here and we kind of play like we played. It’s frustrating.”

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“It was rough,” senior hitter Brenna Ginn said. “It really was rough, and that’s not our team, at all. Whoever was on that court tonight was not the team that we left our last game or the team left on the court when we left practice yesterday.”

King’s Fork trailed for most of the match, taking only brief leads during the first game and the beginning of the third.

Junior setter Erin Banks had six kills and 14 assists, and senior hitter Natalie Montgomery contributed six kills, two aces and three digs. Ginn had five kills and five blocks, while freshman hitter Jazlyn Dunn led the team with seven blocks.

Porter said the biggest obstacle her team has to overcome is its attitude.

“We beat ourselves,” she said. “I told them out there, it’s one thing to play against six, but we’re playing against another team and we’re playing against (ourselves).”

Though the year has been tumultuous, Porter has different players who have shined.

She praised Ginn for her consistency and flexibility, because while she plays best as an outside hitter, she has had to transition back to the middle due to her height.

“She accepted her role, and she’s been going at it and she’s actually playing injured,” Porter said. “So, she’s going out there every night and playing hard.”

Porter also praised the consistency of senior libero Taylor Beale, junior Kaitlyn Mealey and sophomore Taylor Harrell for their contributions aided by playing volleyball outside of school.

“We’ve got girls, it’s just who shows up from night to night,” she said. “We definitely have the potential, but our go-to (player), it varies from night to night.”

Last year’s Lady Bulldogs team featured confident and consistent senior leadership that helped in the trying times.

“This year, I wouldn’t say we don’t have leaders,” Porter said, “but nobody that’s consistently leading us in the right direction, let’s put it like that.”

A few of the seniors aimed to lead in the wake of this latest loss.

“For the rest of the season, I just want us to have an emotional bond where we become not just a team, but a family, because that’s how I see these girls,” senior defensive specialist Ezinne Nnawulezi said. “They’re my family, and it’s really hard sitting there and seeing them lose their emotion and just its like, ‘No, we’re all here for each other,’ and that’s what I want us to gain from this.”

“I think we can just do a hundred times better,” Beale said, “and once we find that energy to just shake off all of our mistakes, I think we’ll be a really great team, like the team that we see ourselves as in practice.”