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PHCC volleyball hopes to ‘shock the world’

September 23, 2015

By BRIAN LUCKETT Sports Information Director

A season that began with uncertainties and doubters has quickly become a season full of potential and believers.

The Patrick Henry Community College volleyball team, which is in their inaugural season, has garnered considerable attention as they now own a record of 6-4 overall and 4-0 in Region X play. Before the season started though, these results were far from the mind of Head Coach Kelly Proffitt.

“It was difficult to find players and in all honesty, I wasn’t sure we were going to have a team in the early summer,” Proffitt said. “We literally went from hoping to get a team together and having our first volleyball team to, wow, this team is really good and we can compete.”

Finding the players that would comprise the first PHCC volleyball team required hard work and perseverance from the head coach and her staff. After having experience on every level of volleyball competition, including playing collegiately at Liberty University, Coach Proffitt looked at all the different avenues for contacting and finding student-athletes.

Proffitt said her recruiting consisted of “attending tournaments throughout the area, countless phone calls and emails and even looking on social media to find players to recruit.”

When the dust settled, Proffitt and her staff had landed a recruiting class that consisted of ten players including in-state recruits Tahira Scales (Martinsville), Janika Hunt (Martinsville), Jasmyn Carter (Axton), Courtney Puckett (Bassett), Randi Robertson (Rocky Mount) and Mikayla Holland (Rocky Mount). Plus out-of-state recruits Brooke Leach (Romeoville, IL), Sydney Garrett (Lafayette, IN) and Kayla Hailey (Mayodan, NC) and one transfer, Kalayna Cassady (Woolwine), from Ferrum College.

After what Proffitt described as a “get to know each other” first practice, the team began to grow together and talk about expectations for the season.

“We had no idea what to expect coming in,” Holland said. “I was just excited to continue my playing career and play for the first team ever at PHCC.”

Robertson agreed with Holland and added, “Now that we know what we’re capable of, the national tournament is our goal.” In order to accomplish that goal, PHCC must first win the regional and district championships.

With many of the players knowing each other through competitive play in high school, the team bonded quickly.

“We’ve become a family,” Scales said. “Some of us played with each other all through school, some we played against and others are out-of-state, but now, we have come together.”

While the PHCC volleyball team has gone from an idea to a competitive force in the conference, the team is still checking their ego at the door.

“We have a lot to prove,” Puckett said. “We were underestimated at first but we still have a lot to prove to everyone.”

In terms of moving forward this season, it’s all about playing together and staying healthy, Proffitt said. “We had some injuries early on that hampered our play. With us being healthy now and coming together, we’re clicking on all cylinders. I keep stressing in practice that I’ve seen teams with talented individuals who did not come together and they fell apart. That will not be us.”

Cassady, the team’s only sophomore, says that the team has to keep playing with the same mentality. “We just have to keep digging,” she said. “We have the chance to prove everyone wrong and shock the world.”

*Update*

The Lady Patriot volleyball team defeated Wytheville Community College, 3-0 (25-9, 25-16 and 25-10), at home Tuesday night. The Lady Patriots now own a 7-4 overall record and are 5-0 in Region X play.

Filed under: Volleyball

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