The AC Flora Falcons volleyball team has only made it as far as the third round of the playoffs in program history. However, if there were any year that the tide could turn, this could be it.
The 2019 squad sees a roster loaded with talent and experience, including seven seniors. The team also features multiple returning all region selections from the 2018 season including Margaret Ford and Taylor Davenport. Davenport was also and All-State selection and currently holds and offer from Temple University.
Erin Groves will return this year for the Falcons in her second year as head coach. This is her eighteenth year overall and she believes that this year could be a special one for her group.
“This year I think we are going to do things. I just have a good feeling.”
That feeling is not unfounded. When discussing the differences between her team from last year and the progress they have made going into this season, coach Groves says the difference seems almost night and day.
“I feel like we are getting to start at where we were during the middle of the season last year.”
Coach Groves is not the only one that feels that way either. Senior Taylor Davenport also shares her coach’s optimism heading into her final year.
“I feel like we have a lot of potential and we can go far in the playoffs this year”.
When asked what was one word that defined her team this year, Coach Groves’ answer was almost immediate.
“Cohesiveness…We have that corny sense of family.”
Senior Pressley Clark feels the same way. She believes that this is one of the closest knit groups she has ever been a part of.
“I think we’re the most cohesive we’ve ever been before.”
Coach Groves believes her team shares another quality that will carry over into this season.
Perhaps no moment last season defined that more than the Falcons’ upset victory over Sumter High School. The team arrived late to the game and was nearly forced to forfeit altogether. Yet once they arrived there was no stopping that squad. They exited their bus, skipped warm-ups, promptly beat Sumter and returned home with a victory. It really does not get more gutsy than that.
Experience with big moments like that certainly helps. Yet, Taylor Davenport says that in order to have continued success this year, they need help from fans and students.
“A good student section and support from our students would help a lot this year.”
When fans come out to watch the Falcons, Coach Groves promises that her team is sure to put on a show.
“Expect a lot of explosive, aggressive, exciting play.”
If all the pieces can fall into place this season, it could be one for the record books. It could also be one for the seniors like Taylor Davenport to remember forever.
“I want to end on a bang.”
If the team stays cohesive throughout the season, then the Falcons volleyball team has a chance to achieve more than they have in some time.
The Falcons will begin their season on August 26 at Camden High School.
NEXT UP: Season preview for Varsity Cheerleading