SHADY SPRING, WV (WOAY) – From being oh-so-close in 2019, to winning it all in 2020, the Shady Spring Girls Volleyball Team is looking for their second consecutive state championship title.
“I feel like a lot of people I talk to from other teams are like, ‘Shady’s the team that everyone says is going to win the state title.’ So just knowing that, I think it makes us work even harder just to prove everyone right,” says senior setter Kelsie Dangerfield.
This core group of girls has been through heartbreak and triumph together. Being able to play with each other for a number of years and build strong team chemistry is something the Tigers credit their success with.
Senior right side hitter Aly Holdren explains, “We’ve played together since we were in elementary school and I just think the chemistry is there. We’ve all known each other, we’re good friends on and off the court, which is a very good thing.”
Head Coach Kelly Williams adds, “I think they know that they have a job to do and when they step out on that floor, that’s what they’re supposed to do.”
They know it won’t necessarily be easy to repeat that title, but Shady hopes to couple their experience of winning it all from last year and the momentum from this season into making that happen.
“It was good knowing that a lot of people wanted to beat us, but it also put a lot of pressure on us because we know people wanted to beat us. I think it gave us more motivation, though, so people don’t think they can beat us,” junior middle hitter Meg Williams says.
Dangerfield adds, “We’ve done it before, so we can do it again. That still doesn’t mean we have it in the bag, we still have to work hard. I mean, we have to want it, and I feel like, we want it more than any other team.”
They’ve already taken the Class AA sectional and regional championships against Herbert Hoover.
Saturday was also a special day for Head Coach Kelly Williams, who won her 200th career game.
Now, the seniors on the team are looking for one last highlight to put in the book as they close out their high school careers.
“It would mean a lot to me. It’s something I’ve worked for all my life, really. Going out with that would mean a lot to me,” Holdren explains.
“One win was a dream come true, so another one, I don’t even know how I’d explain it. It would literally be the best feeling in the entire world,” says Dangerfield.
Shady Spring plays their quarterfinal against Frankfort on Friday. Just three matches stand between them and a second straight state title.