High school volleyball: North Rowan looks to move up in YVC
Head coach: Social studies teacher Joshua Yoder (2nd year, 4-16)
2019: 4-16 overall, 4-12 1A Yadkin Valley Conference (tied, 7th)
Standout: Senior hitter Bella Smith
Experienced players: Seniors Makiya McDaniel, Roziah Ellis, Anna Everhart and Madisyn Smith and sophomore Chloee Stoner
New face: Junior basketball star Hannah Wilkerson
Opening match: at Thomasville, Monday
SPENCER — North Rowan volleyball has enjoyed occasional success over the years, but has never won a playoff game.
The last trip to the playoffs came in 2015.
The Cavaliers did make tangible progress last season under first-year coach Joshua Yoder, a native of Ohio.
North carried a 42-match losing streak into 2019, but the Cavaliers were able to put that burden to rest.
“The program is trending in the right direction,” Yoder said.
Smith and Stoner will serve as the captains for this COVID-condensed season.
“Although the shortened season is a bummer, having a season is still a blessing,” Yoder said.
Yoder likes this team’s balance of experience and newcomers.
He has six returners who have played quite a bit.
“We are more athletic and more experienced and we have great leadership from our captains,” Yoder said. “I’m excited to see how our potential on paper plays out on the court. I believe we are a team that will give other teams fits because we are scrappy and have championship chemistry.”
Wilkerson is a terrific basketball player, all-county first team last spring, and should make an impact.
“She brings a gamer mentality and she adds to our athleticism around the net to complement McDaniel and Bella,” Yoder said. “I do not foresee us losing many 50-50 balls at the net.”
Stoner will be the primary setter. She’ll orchestrate the offense and will set up the swings of Bella, Everhart, Ellis and Wilkerson.
While everyone is looking forward to the return of high school sports, Yoder is among the most enthusiastic.
“Coaching this team has been a bright spot in what has been a tumultuous 2020,” he said. “Academically, our team has some of the highest GPAs at North. I could not be more proud to coach this group.”