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Cantrell: ‘Good year’ amid tough schedule

Published 11:06am Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Prattville Christian Academy volleyball team navigated a tough schedule may be an understatement.
The Lady Panthers competed in Class 2A, Area 8 with Montgomery Academy, who spent much of the season ranked number one, and Isabella, who skirted in and out of the top ten. They played cross-town rival Prattville twice, as well as a few other bigger schools.
But PCA still managed to secure second place in the area tournament at MA, clinching a playoff spot. But that berth paired them with defending 2A state champion Providence Christian, who dispelled the Lady Panthers in straights sets 12-25, 11-25, 11-25 Friday.
PCA coach Kaylon Cantrell said even though her team’s record doesn’t reflect it, the 2013 season was a good one.
“I think we ended pretty well,” she said. “Our record doesn’t look like it we did real well, but we had a real tough schedule. We scheduled some really big schools and some big teams. So I think as a whole, I think we did well. It was kind of a rollercoaster, we had some really high weeks and we had some low weeks. But I think as a whole, we can look back and be proud of the year that we had. It was a good season.”
Amid the big games against the quality teams, Cantrell knew she could count on her seniors who provided the team with emotion and skill that will be missed next year.
“Brooke Wright, she was our setter, she’ll be a big miss next year. We’ll hate not having her out there, not for the volleyball skill-wise but her attitude on the court,” said Cantrell. “She was always positive. She cared about the team and she really wanted to win and she wasn’t scared to let the rest of the girls know that.
“Leah Gibson, one of the most determined players I’ve ever coached and I love that about her. She is determined and she would get mad when we lost and she would get excited when we won. I love seeing that emotion. I tell them sometimes, I want to see them get mad sometimes and I could see her get mad. I like that. And Nancy Patton, she really stepped up this year, did way better than I come have imagined. All three of them had a big impact on the team this year for sure.”
With the seniors skill and leadership fleeting, Cantrell hopes that rising seniors Bailey Mount and Nicole Hoots can continue to improve as players and leaders, as some holes will be filled by younger players.
“I think we’ve got a good group coming back,” she said. “We do lose some key players, but I’ve got some girls coming up from the JV that I think will fill those spots pretty well. So, I really feel like it’s going to be a good season next year.
“I think there’ll be good things to come out of next year for sure.”

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