Valley Sports Report
SAYRE — Second-year Sayre volleyball coach Alia Post is hoping team chemistry will lead to a big improvement for the Lady Redskins in 2021.

“I think this team’s biggest strength is how well they work together,” said Post. “They communicate so well because they’ve been playing together for so long.

“They kind of read each other’s minds,” she added. “Their communication this year is a lot better than last year. It’s not perfect, but we’re working on it.”

Post said the Lady Redskins will play a 5-1 to start the season due to an injury to one of their setters.

Junior Elle Boys will start at setter, with junior Emma Smith hoping to get healthy and back in the line-up.

Seniors Rachel VanDeMark and Gianna Quattrini will start at outside hitters, with juniors Madison Bellis and Gabby Shaw at middle hitters, and senior Carly McCutcheon at the right-side hitter.

Lexi Frisbie will start at libero, while junior Makenna Garrison and Aliyah Rawlings will see time in the back row. Sophomore Lilly Smith will see time at nearly every position.

Post has liked what she’s seen in the preseason, including a scrimmage against Waverly and S-VE at Athens earlier this week.

“We feel pretty confident with this line-up,” said Post. “They all have great energy this year, and they are working so well together.

“Last year, we had a couple differences in our line-up, and it didn’t mesh very well, but these girls stick together like a puzzle piece,” she noted. “It’s really amazing seeing them work.

“I was excited to watch them scrimmage (at Athens) because I wanted to see how it compared to one of our practices, and they did really well,” Post added.

If there’s a concern, Post said it’s her team’s ability to handle the opposition’s serves.

“My biggest concern right now is serve-receive. It’s not awful, but it’s still a work in progress,” she said. “We’re trying something new, and it seems to be working.

“I thought the girls did a great job (in the scrimmage) at serve-receive,” added Post. “I was pleasantly surprised.”

Coming off a 1-15 season, Post’s expectations in 2021 don’t necessarily center around the win-loss record.

“I want this team to go as far as they think they can go.

“If they think they can win every game, then I’m going to push them to do that, and be there to back them up,” said Post.

“Before the season starts, the girls will put together their goals as a team,” she added. “My goal is to help them hit their goals.”

Sayre opens the 2021 season Saturday at the annual Williamson Tournament.


IN PHOTO 1: Sayre coach Alia Post. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.