Thompson volleyball ready to bounce back with experienced roster

Published 5:24 pm Thursday, August 17, 2023

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By SETH HAGAN | Special for the Reporter

ALABASTER – Judy Green has a plan for the Warriors.

After years of postseason runs, Coach Green and Thompson found themselves on the outside looking in leaving a bitter taste about the 2022 season.

“We were greatly disappointed with last year when we didn’t advance out of the area tournament when we had done that for so long,” said Green.

“We’ve talked a lot about developing a competitive personality over the summer. Who are we going to be when we walk on the floor and what can the other team expect from Thompson every single day?”

There was some soul searching, and ultimately the coaching staff looked inward, considering the things they could do to help the players connect to the team.

“Everybody wants to feel like they’re a valued member of the team and I feel that, as coaches, we didn’t do a good job of that last year, and it kind of bit us in the backside in the end, but not this year,” Green said. “We have our plan and we’ll continue to implement it during the season.”

The Warriors are not a squad lacking in age and maturity. Green’s senior class occupies 10 of her 15 roster spots and they share her dissatisfaction while also focusing on how to bring the team closer.

Senior Abby Faith Campbell landed an All-County nod last year and talked at media day about how this Thompson team will be different.

“Playing together and cheering each other on,” said Campbell. “We’re so excited. I think we’re ready to move on from last season and leave it in the past. Take what we’ve learned, but place it in this season and get better.”

Coach Green once again lined up a challenging offseason of play dates and tournaments for the girls. The coaching staff watched the team get better and got some valuable intel on their players.

“The summer was very good for us, I think we were able to build off of the off-season really well,” said Green. “We got a lot of playing opportunities. The Foley Tournament was great. We got a chance to play some good teams and figure out where some of the pieces land.”

Area 5 was already a difficult challenge, but the addition of Vestavia Hills made it a juggernaut as the Rebels and the Hoover Buccaneers both ranked in the top 5 last year.

“The quality of coaching that exists in our area is crazy good,” says Green. “And you know how it plays out. Not all the best teams make it to the state tournament, but it’s about us and what we need to do to be our best on gameday.”