Coosa Valley volleyball poised for best season ever

Published 2:10 pm Thursday, August 27, 2015

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

HARPERSVILLE – The program has not been around for many more years than head coach Jamie Gill has been there to coach it, but in her third year as the Coosa Valley Lady Rebels head coach, Gill believes this is the best team the school has ever had.

“When the program first started it started very slowly because no one had played before or had any experience,” Gill said in an Aug. 27 phone interview. “We basically had to start from scratch. This is the first year we’ve been one of the top teams where people recognize we’re a legitimate program.”

In AISA volleyball, there are two classifications, A and AA. Coosa Valley competes in AA for volleyball and has to go up against schools like Lee-Scott, which has over four times as many students as Coosa Valley. Classifications for sports in the AISA vary by sport, and a school can be in a different class for basketball as compared to football as compared to volleyball.

Coosa Valley is currently 6-4 this season, with three of those losses coming against two of the biggest challengers for the AA state title, according to Gill, in Macon-East and neighboring Kingwood Christian School. The Lady Rebels played in a tri-match contest against Macon-East earlier this season and lost in two sets 24-26, 23-25. They also played Kingwood close, dropping the opening set 24-26 before the Lady Lions took control of that match.

“We’ve been really competitive, and in the last few years we’ve beat teams we hadn’t beaten before. Kingwood gives us the most trouble for sure.”

Coosa Valley is led by four upper classmen this year. The lone senior on the team, Allison Craft, is a middle hitter and controls the middle of the floor. Kalei Merrifield, a transfer from Chelsea High School, is the most powerful hitter on the team and gives the Lady Rebels an offensive weapon they haven’t had in the past. Sarah Warren and Sydni Bolden are two other juniors, a setter and the libero, who help lead on the floor as well.

Kingwood, Morgan Academy and Autauga Academy are the other three teams in Coosa Valley’s region.