Ready to go

Pisgah's Kacie McLaughlin serves during a Class 3A Area 14 Tournament semifinal win last season to clinch a North Super Regional berth. The Eagles open their 2016 season at the Sardis Invitational Aug. 27.


The Pisgah volleyball team made history last season, becoming the first Jackson County team to advance to the AHSAA’s now eight-year-old Super Regional postseason format.

If the Eagles are to book a return trip the North Super Regional, they will do so with a new look lineup and a new head coach.

Graduation shuffled the lineup, while Alexandria Duke takes over as head coach.

Changes aside, Duke said the preseason has gone well for the Eagles, who open the season by playing in the Sardis Invitational on Aug. 27.

“I am extremely excited to have an opportunity to begin my coaching career in a moderately new program,” said Duke, a former player at Geraldine. 

“The girls have worked diligently since practice began. I have been so excited and proud of the progress they have made.”

Elsewhere, the Scottsboro Wildcats are working under the direction of head coach Kelly Scott. It’s the first time in five seasons that the Wildcats have the same coach as the prior season, and Scott said that’s showing up in practice.

“It has been great having them all [offseason] because we were able to work on conditioning, plyos and weight training on top of working on volleyball skills,” Scott said. 

Scottsboro opens its season at home at Carter Gymnasium on Aug. 25 against Buckhorn and Mae Jemison (formerly J.O. Johnson), and Scott said she wants to see the Wildcats “show an understanding [of the] skills we have been working on. It's a huge relief when I begin to see light bulbs go off on the court, when they begin to put those skills together in game like situations and they begin to come together as a team on the court. Last week I could see it and it was exciting so I'm looking forward to more of that these next couple of weeks as we prepare for games.” 

At North Jackson, third-year Chiefs coach Amber Sells said the team is busy working on “areas where we have struggled in the past…. I am also looking for them to work more as a team unit than individuals on the court and talk to each other more.”

North Jackson opens its season against Asbury and Woodville on Aug. 25 at NJHS.

Woodville is set to follow up its inaugural season in the sport this fall. Shannon Pilotte is the Panthers’ new head coach. 

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