Scrappy Lady Bulldogs best Cavs

Published 10:21 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Latoya Thomas spikes ball against Lakeland. Lady Bulldogs are 2-0 in conference play, and beat the Lady Cavs 3-0.

Latoya Thomas spikes ball against Lakeland. Lady Bulldogs are 2-0 in conference play, and beat the Lady Cavs 3-0. photo by Caroline LaMagna

First-year coach Ann Bailey has her team at 2-0 in district play after Tuesday’s 3-0 win by the King’s Fork High School girls’ volleyball team over Lakeland High School.

Bailey took over the King’s Fork volleyball team after Sarah Porter stepped down after last season.


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“I was happy with the performance,” Bailey said. “We still have some sportsmanship issues we will work out. Also, we will improve on some fundamentals, as well, like blocking and serving.”

Even though this is Bailey’s first year as head varsity coach, she is familiar with the team. Two years ago she was a volunteer on the junior varsity team, and in July she was hired as the head coach. But since she wasn’t hired until July and hadn’t had contact with her team prior to her hire, Bailey didn’t feel the team had the off season they wanted.

“We had to overcome a couple of hurdles,” she said. “Our conditioning wasn’t where it was supposed to be at first. Most of the girls have been playing together for a while, so that is helping in our process of getting better.”

The Lady Bulldogs love to compete hard, and that sometimes gets the best of them. Sportsmanship has been an area of weakness so far for the Lady Bulldogs, and that is something Bailey wants to fix sooner than later.

“We all prefer positive vibes,” Bailey said. “I’m an encourager, so I try to get my girls to focus on what they are doing right. Being the best player you can be starts with your sportsmanship and attitude.”

Bailey will get consistent contributions out of players such as senior Cydney Nichols, who is also a basketball and soccer player. Lauren Bailey is another player coach Bailey is looking to for leadership. Senior leadership is a big part of this team this year, as the Lady Bulldogs have five upperclassmen.

“When push comes to shove, those two elevate their game,” coach Bailey said. “They step up and fill in gaps to help cover some of our weaknesses. I think all of our seniors will have a solid year this year.”

Bailey wants to change the way King’s Fork sports is perceived. The Lady Bulldogs have felt their reputation has been that of a scrappy team, but not the most fundamentally sound.

“I want us to mold our good skills we have with our scrappy play,” coach Bailey said. “Once we integrate our skills, we will start forcing more teams to play the ball, instead of just instincts.”

The Lady Bulldogs play at Grassfield at 6 p.m. on Sept 16. The Lady Cavs play at Hickory at 6 p.m. the same day.