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RHS volleyball looks to leave it all on court in season plagued by pandemic unknowns

Russellville Golden Tiger volleyball is looking to leave everything on the court this year, with COVID-19 bringing a new perspective to the game.

With much of this year’s season still being unknown because of the virus, head coach Whitney Glover said she has seen her students live in the moment more.

“They are finally seeing what I am saying about never knowing when it will be their last time on the court,” Glover said. “I think seeing spring sports cut short last year really made them realize they never know when their last game or their last practice will be.”

Junior Leah Rushing said she and her team are taking things in while they can, since they do not know how much of their season they will be able to play.

“We are nervous about everything going on with the virus, but we are also doing everything we can to prevent it,” added senior Ashleyn DeArman.

This year the Lady Golden Tigers’ goal is to win area with a hope of making it all the way to state. To do that, they know their attitude has to improve from previous seasons.

“Our attitude is going to be really important – not getting discouraged if we lose or if we give up a point,” said junior Jayna Poss.

The team is rebuilding this year after losing seven total players from last year’s team – two to injury – and only having one returning varsity player.

“It is going to be tough this year, with there not being as many of us who are used to playing in that kind of pressure,” Rushing said.

Junior Abby Green said the team’s biggest challenges will be playing smarter, working hard on defense and overcoming height, not having many tall girls on the team.

The Golden Tigers will begin their season at home Aug. 20 against East Lawrence before turning their attention to region play against Madison Academy and Lawrence County.

“I think that is when we are really going to know what we have this season – when we are able to see how we stack up against them,” Glover said.

Poss said she is most excited for the game against Madison Academy because it will be an away game in an exciting atmosphere.

“They are really known for having a large student section for games, so we are excited for that,” Poss said.

Until then, the Golden Tigers are working on drills while remaining hopeful they will be able to enjoy this year’s season.

“There are so many unknowns right now, so we are just enjoying any time together that we can,” Glover said. “We are not sure if we will be able to have much of a season yet, but for right now, we are just working hard and doing everything we can to prepare.”