during tournaments. This year, the mentality was much different.
“The highlight of the season was never being the first team out of any tournament,” Briggs said. “We were able to stay and play at least until the next round. It feels good not to be the first team going home.”
Newcomer Leah Anderson and senior Malaceo Ivey anchored a young team that knew very little about team volleyball in August.
Anderson played especially well throughout the season and setter Ashley Jacobson had a solid junior year.
“Every girl on my team stepped up at one point or another to help the team and each of them improved,” Briggs said. “Lacey [Ivey] was dedicated to her position and improving her blocking and kills. Leah [Anderson], a first-year player, learned quickly enough to be a top player on the team. Ashley [Jacobson] took on a new position for her, as our setter. She learned that position quickly and became a team leader.”
At points during the season, the Lady Tigers had a hard time handling serve-receive and sid- ing out against a tough server.
Defensively, Alcovy made strides from a year ago, but Briggs knows she needs to address those areas during the offseason.
“Next year we must improve our defense,” she said. “We have to pass the ball better and not give anything away. I want to see a change in our mentality. Never give up and fight.”
One area the Lady Tigers excelled was from the service line. Ivey, Jacobson and Anderson all served over 80 percent.
“Our serving is pretty good,” Briggs said. “It is mostly passing I’m worried about. From there we can move on to attacking.”
Alcovy returns several players next year and the future, at least immediately, looks bright. Jacobson, Anderson and Holly Oakes will play key roles and one year of offseason volleyball will help.
Jacobson’s younger sister Brit- tany has tremendous potential and will get a shot to start at the varsity level, and Ashley Grant, perhaps the purist athlete on the team, will benefit from another offseason.
“If the girls work hard in the summer, I think I will have a group that is serious about volleyball,” Briggs said. “I think they want to win and want to improve not only as individuals, but as a team. I feel that we have a great deal of potential for 2009-10.”