By Chris Parker
Forsyth posted a .500 record at 12-12-2 last year while going 1-5 in its inaugural season as part of the Mid-Lakes Conference.
“The Mid-Lakes Conference is very competitive. Our team quickly learned that when we are not the biggest players on the court, we need to find alternative ways to score points. We need to play smart and be disciplined on defense,” Forsyth head coach Mallory Richardson said.
Emily Shipman will be the top returning player for Forsyth after she earned second-team all-conference honors as an outside hitter in her junior season.
“Emily is a very talented multi-sport athlete. She has been at the varsity level for multiple years and is smart with what swings she takes. She has a high reach and good vertical. She also is good at mixing up her shots. I expect for Emily to be a leader on the team this year with her effort and attitude,” Richardson said.
Classmate Anna Young returns as a defensive specialist. Juniors Katrina Drake (setter) and Cadence Swank (middle blocker) along with sophomores Emmalea Cook (utility) and Landri Stuart (right side hitter) also return after seeing varsity action last season.
Juniors Ally Barnet (middle blocker) and Kenzie Koen (right side hitter/setter) will be new faces to the varsity rotation.
“To consider this a successful season, I would of course like to have a winning record that is better than last year. I would like to see individual improvement as well as team improvement, and for the girls to never be content with just being ‘good enough’,” Richardson said. “These girls truly love the game of volleyball. You can see it in their play on the court and in their interactions with each other. I expect the girls to learn from their mistakes, adjust, and always put forth their best effort. We should have a very competitive team.”
Forsyth will host a jamboree on Aug. 29. The Lady Panthers will open the regular season on Sept. 3 at home against Skyline.