Dutch Fork’s on the rise volleyball program continued to make progress toward becoming a major player on the Class 4A scene in 2008. The Silver Foxes finished 14-9 overall, and went 9-5 and finished in fourth place in tough Region 5-4A.
Here is how coach Cathy Ivester summarized the campaign:
“We had a much stronger and experienced team than (2007), although we won a region title a year ago. Realignment moved us into a more competitive region with Lexington, White Knoll, Aiken and North Augusta. Our team was talented but we still need to learn how to practice with the kind of intensity that will help us to play top team with confidence. Our team chemistry improved this year, but still has a lot of room for improvement.
“We will lose two starters to graduation but we are excited about some of the JV girls moving up. The overall Dutch Fork program has improved as a result of have more girls play club ball. We’ve gone from having three club players to 16 in just two seasons. I am excited to see the results of that next season. It is our goal to take the program to the next level and push hard to get past that third round in the playoffs.”
The departing DF seniors include Devin Pearson, Cierra Hinton, Jessica Paulchel, Karah Shackelford and Tyler Smith. Pearson and Smith were the starters in the group. Pearson was the primary setter, and finished with 436 assists, 83 digs, 34 aces and 38 kills. Smith had 70 kills and 17 blocks.
The top players expected to return are Raveen Golston, Tianna Laporte, Kindra Bailey and Becky Boyle.
Golston was selected to the all-region team and was named to the Tournament of Champions all-tournament team. She led the team in kills (196) and digs (139) and also chipped in 29 aces and 12 blocks. Bailey had 186 kill, 76 blocks, 34 aces and 21 digs. Laporte had 138 kills, 44 blocks, and 19 digs, and led the team in serving points (148) and aces (53). Boyle, a defensive specialist/Libero, had a team high 78 digs.
Chelsey Blasengame and Jennie Dewitt are the two other regulars slated to return in 2009.
The single-match high totals in various categories were: Kills – Goston and Bailey (16); Digs – Golston (13); Aces – Laporte (11); Blocks – Bailey (8); Assists – Pearson (31).