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Volleyball: Rebels hoping to finish strong

  • Carmen Pinckney/Special to JCST Ivy Bryan serves during a recent Thomas Heyward match
  • Carmen Pinckney/Special to JCST Thomas Heyward’s volleyball team has its eyes on the SCISA playoffs. Carmen Pinckney/Special to JCST Ivy Bryan serves during a recent Thomas Heyward match

As the postseason approaches, the Thomas Heyward volleyball team is trying to finish the regular season strong to punch its ticket in the SCISA playoffs.

The Lady Rebels are on the outside looking in and with a 4-8 record as of last week, Thomas Heyward would have to win out to secure a spot on the bracket.

“At this point, we are not sure if we will make playoffs this year,” said coach Trish Bryan. “We have three region games left this season and they are must wins if we want to be in the playoff talks.”

And should they make it, they’ll be without Gracie Wade, who suffered an impacted growth plate in her thumb. Bryan said her presence on the court will be missed.

“We were just starting to gel as a team and trust one another on the court when one of our back row players was injured,” said Bryan. “Losing Gracie Wade for the season has impacted us tremendously. Gracie was a very consistent player who made hard plays look easy. She would never let a ball drop without putting 100 percent effort into going after it.”

But the Lady Rebels do have a true talent in Ivy Bryan, who leads the team in nearly every statistical category. Coach Bryan said her drive on the hardwood changes the dynamics of the team’s morale.

“Ivy Bryan is a great athlete,” said Bryan. “She is a captain on our team along with Bailey Brown and Emma Richardson. Ivy is a very emotional leader. When she is fired up and playing well, the entire team seems to pick it up a notch. In the same sense, if she isn’t playing well and is down, then the girls seem to follow suit.

“Ivy normally sees the court very well. She is able to come in with a big kill when needed, and she is able to catch the other teams off guard and tip the ball where they aren’t. Although Ivy stands only 5’6”, she tends to be a big presence on the court.”

With just a short window of time left, coach Bryan is hoping her team will come together and remember they’ll have to play aggressive if they want to accomplish their goals.

“When we started this season, we knew that we would have to work extremely hard in every set in order to win matches,” said Bryan. “I told the girls that they would have to be scrappy and work hard for every point for us to be able to win matches.”

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