Dawson County Lady Tigers Volleyball
Head coach: Tanya Porter, sixth season
Last year’s record: 5-14, sixth in Region 7-3A
Key returners: Avery Herring (Sr.), Emma Pelfrey (Sr.), Abby Clouser (Jr.), Jessie Mann (Jr.), Emerald Sallee (Jr.) and Meghan Roche (So.)
Key newcomers: Abby Felkai (Jr. transferred from Canada), Maggie Allen (So.) and Cameron Hipps (Fr.)
Season outlook: At Fall Sports Media Day, Lady Tigers head coach Tanya Porter agreed that they didn't need to spend too much time dwelling on the 2020 season.
After dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and your star senior player getting injured and then re-injured, there was no team of destiny vibes coming from the Lady Tigers.
However, an entire normal off-season, plus only needing to replace four starting rotation players give the Lady Tigers an added boost going into this season. Haylie Selzer, Olivia Walls and Makale Everett all graduated last season with junior Kirklyn Porter leaving the team to focus on basketball.
“Last year was a learning year for us, but sometimes those are equally important as the success you would experience,” Porter said during Media Day. “I’ve definitely seen growth in our skills. Off the court, our flexibility and ability to adapt has shown grown maturity. That will show us good on the court but also good in our everyday lives.”
The Lady Tigers will have two seniors heading the team this year, with everyday starter last season Emma Pelfrey leading the way. Last year, Pelfrey had 106 kills as a hitter. Avery Herring, the other senior for the Lady Tigers, injured her ACL and was sidelined all last season.
Team Defensive Player of the Year Emerald Sallee will return as starting libero, with Abby Clouser, Jessie Mann and Meghan Roche all starting varsity games last year with chances for increased roles this year.
Despite a down season last year, the Lady Tigers were still only one game away from qualifying for the GHSA 3A state tournament.
“I know there’s a lot of room for growth, but I just want us to compete,” Porter said. “I want them to support each other and provide a good representation of our school and Dawson County. You can expect a lot more attacks from our offensive end than last year. I think we have some girls in positions that offer great opportunities for us to be more on the attack.”
Overall, the Lady Tigers return several talented players and a junior varsity team that was met with great overall success last year. Combined with a season that should have more consistency than last year, Dawson has a great opportunity to make their third state tournament in four years.