2021 Fall Preview: Sparta Volleyball
By Chris Parker
Sparta Volleyball has a new head coach with Rachel Kirkman this year.
Kirkman is still getting to grips with their players, but some leaders have started to stand out.
“I’ve already seen some key executives set off. Senior Aysha Fulton will stand up for us, but she has already shown her leadership skills with her work ethic and determination to improve her team. Baylee Williams has also stepped up and was a great help to me getting to know the team. She’s a great player with good ball control, but more importantly, she’s a great supporter of her team, ”said Kirkman.
Sparta returns two choices for all conferences with Megan Brown and Natalie Wilks. Brown was an all-conference first-team selection, while Wilks received the second-team awards.
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“Megan Brown is an incredible athlete. She has the ability to play any position on the court and always wants to learn and improve, ”said Kirkman. “Natalie Wilks is another player who can play any position. She is an outdoor sports enthusiast, but she also has a great personality and a lot of energy. “
Senior Autumn Brynildson and Junior Hailey Bumgarner are also returning.
Sophomore Averi Leyland saw limited college action last year. This year she will be a full-time university player. Grace Jemes is a freshman who should see immediate action at the college level with the setter.
“Our greatest strength this year is our work ethic. These girls have worked hard and they never take it easy, ”said Kirkman. “Every time they’re in the gym, they work to improve themselves and each other. What excites me most about this team is the desire to learn and work hard to get better. There are so many other players who could potentially advance to university roles. “
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Sparta opened the season on September 2nd at home against Ava.
“The girls and I have talked a little about our goals for this season and we know we can’t wait until August to work towards those goals,” said Kirkman. “If we hope to achieve everything we want, it will take work and dedication all summer long. Because they have shown me that they are ready to take on this, I have very high expectations of what this team can achieve. “
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