Once Jaden McBride wraps up her volleyball career, maybe the Creekside chief and her teammates might accept a approaching career as editors of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations.
For the Knights’ seniors, accession acclaimed quotes is aloof allotment of the game.
“We accept a altered adage for every game, and it’s affectionate of a fun affair that we do. We’ll accept a altered adduce or a altered saying,” McBride said.
Fortified with those words of wisdom, and some good, ancient volleyball power, the Knights accept cruised through their division so far in following of a playoff berth.
Creekside drillmaster Megan Bowers said the citation attitude is article that’s been activity on for abounding years with Knights volleyball. Sometimes they’re archetypal sports motivational quotes, but she said the brand of Albert Einstein and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet accept apparent up, too.
“The girls are amenable for award those quotes and accepting bodies affectionate of pumped up,” Bowers said.
Whatever the byword of the day, it’s formed out for the Knights (12-1), who angle No. 20 in the civic MaxPreps rankings and No. 2 in Florida — abaft alone adjoining St. Johns County ability Ponte Vedra.
Their alone accident came Sept. 26 in the championship bout of the Jacksonville Juniors Volleyball Association’s River City Classic, adjoin Ponte Vedra. They’ll face the Sharks afresh Thursday night, their next-to-last bold of the approved season.
Other than that, it’s been a absolute division for the Knights and their chief class.
“We knew we would accept the aforementioned girls, six seniors, so we knew aftermost year we’d accept a able accumulation this year,” Bowers said.
Much of that chic affairs to accumulate arena above aerial school. Jessie Lary is headed for Austin Peay, setter Kaitlyn Helinsky is committed to Montreat, alfresco hitter Samantha Byrd is set for St. Andrews and McBride is on advance for Embry-Riddle.
It’s a long, continued way from aback the chief chic started out. In 2017, the Knights endured a capricious year that accomplished up 5-17.
“These seniors, aback they were freshmen, got exhausted up a little bit, because the year afore we accelerating a lot of girls,” Bowers said. “So we were rebuilding their apprentice year, and I don’t anticipate they admired it. They’ve been alive to get aback to that [winning] position, and they’re hungry.”
But they’ve bigger — to .500 in 2018, again to 14-10 and a bounded quarterfinal actualization aftermost year.
Now, about at the top.
Not alone are they able in advance — McBride ranks third amid breadth players with 165 kills — but they’ve developed the all-embracing antithesis to abuse alike abeyant playoff opponents like ascendant accompaniment best Tallahassee Leon.
Creekside has congenital its arresting cohesion, with 6-2 inferior Izzy Collier arising as a shot-blocking force.
“That’s been a ambition that we’ve been alive on for a absolutely continued time, and it’s article we consistently assignment in convenance on,” McBride said. “So I anticipate that’s advancing calm absolutely well.”
A Thursday ambit of a accent Bolles band was a prime archetype of Creekside’s balance. The Knights tallied seven blocks, led by Collier’s three, after acceptance any blocks themselves. Lary accursed six of the Knights’ 12 aces, and Creekside delivered about error-free returns.
“Going at the amount we are now, I feel like we accept a appealing acceptable chance,” alfresco hitter Lary said. “I feel like if we accumulate architecture off anniversary game, we’ll accomplish it there.”
But the Florida Aerial Academy Athletic Association hasn’t done them any favors.
Under the agriculture architecture for the coronavirus-disrupted 2020 season, all commune champions and runner-ups qualify, in adverse to the 2019 arrangement that acclimated a alternative of the MaxPreps architecture to actuate at-large qualifiers in anniversary region.
Last year, the Knights — ranked additional in the accompaniment — would accept been a playoff lock. In 2020, they’ll acceptable face a commune semifinal in a anniversary adjoin Fletcher, with alone one to survive for the postseason.
“We accept a boxy commune and we’ve got to comedy Fletcher appropriate out of the gate, so that’s activity to be a challenge,” Bowers said. “We accept a boxy region, so the girls apperceive we can’t booty breaks.”
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