Volleyball Preview 2022: Jefferson
Coming off yet another 20-win season that included a region title (third in a row and fourth in last five years), the Lady Dragons are hoping for another deep playoff run. To that point, they’ve made the Elite 8 last year and Final 4 the year prior, and now have made state every season since 2010, making them one of the top volleyball programs in Georgia.
Head Coach: Brittani Lawrence, 7th season
2021 Record: 20-12; State Elite 8; #3 State Ranking; Region 8-AAAA Champions
Head coach Brittani Lawrence is back for her seventh season, and she has a remarkable record of 161-81. She has guided Jefferson to four region titles, six playoff appearances (Final 4, 2 Elite 8s, 2 Sweet 16s), and her program has been ranked in the top 10 in each of her seasons there. This year should be more of the usual, despite moving up a classification.
Key Departures: Olivia Burrage, Dallas Morse, Sophia Stopher
Burrage is a tough piece to replace. The OH had nearly 400 kills last season and 66 blocks.
Key Returning Players: Kamdyn Hendrix, Ava Massingill, Morgan Hicks, Amelia Pilgrim, Gertie Nazaroff, Helena Kelly, Bray Williams, Jenna Rogers
Hendrix at libero is a huge returning talent. She tallied nearly 250 digs and had 50-plus assists and 30-plus aces. Morgan Hicks had over 100 kills, and Pilgrim and Nazaroff contributed a good bit last year as underclassmen. Massingill led the team in serving with 77 aces as well as assists (415), and Hicks had 36 aces. Kelly and Williams are great players returning as well.
Strength & Area of Focus
Strength: Core talent. When you look at the three seniors the Lady Dragons lost, you cringe. But when you look at the eight players who not only got tons of time on the court, but played at a high level, it’s easy to get excited as most (if not all) have made natural progressions in their game.
Focus: Getting early region wins. Moving up a classification is nothing new for Jefferson. It wasn’t too long ago they sat in Class 2A. Now they’re up to 5A, and the expectations are still the same. A couple/few early region wins will help get their footing and propel these girls to do what they always do – win.