Working as One

Not Everything Is About Winning

Cienna Townson, Staff Writer

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The varsity volleyball team poses for a picture in the Long Forum.

Norcross, Ga. — Led by their two seniors, Emily Becker and Lauren Brown, the Lady Spartans defeated some of the best teams in Gwinnett County.

Both seniors improved their stattistics from past seasons. Becker was recognized as a featured Gwinnett Daily Post Super Six Athlete.

“Emily and Lauren have done an incredible job leading. They are very inclusive and make sure to give everyone tips to improve their game,” said junior Carter Fricano.

In addition to an astounding record, the team made it to the semifinals of the Gwinnett County Championships on Sep. 19, defeating Hebron and Mountainview.

The team plays with passion and energy no matter who they play. “The desire this team brings to the court makes them competitive with every team we’ve faced. We’ve definitely taken our program to a higher level than the last couple of seasons,” said Coach Kristy Shelton.

The difference between the 2015 Lady Spartans and teams from the past was that everyone worked together to form a cohesive unit.

“The difference in this team from ones in the past is that every single player on the team has a starting role. Each player is a piece of the puzzle, and they fit together to make a strong unit. This may be one of the most unified volleyball teams I’ve ever coached,” said Coach Kristy Shelton.

After five seniors left the 2014 team, no one knew what to expect from the 2015 team. “Going into the season, I didn’t think we had a shot, but as we started to get into our rhythm and play together, we were able to accomplish some really great things and beat really strong teams this year,” said sophomore Karis Perusek.

The Lady Spartans also experienced a change in the coaching staff. Assistant coach Cliff Shelton had to make the adjustment from coaching baseball to volleyball.

“It’s been a big adjustment for me because girls are all about relationships. Guys are more concerned about just the winning,” said Coach Shelton.

Coach Shelton, “Coachy,” celebrated her team’s 400th win on Aug. 22 against St. Vincent’s Academy, which is the same school that knocked them out of the playoffs the previous year.

Senior libero, Emily Becker, was recognized as First Team All-County while senior Lauren Brown and junior Cienna Townson were named Second Team All-County. Becker was also recognized as AA Co-Player of the Year and part of the Georgia Volleyball Coaches’ Association (GVCA) All-State Team.

Brown and Townson accompanied Becker on the All-State Team. Brown, Townson, and Cammie Caldwell made the 2015 All-Area team.

Both Brown and Townson were candidates for the Gwinnett Daily Post’s Fans’ Choice Fall Athlete of the Week. Cienna Townson was also named player of the week for the Gwinnett County Sports Commission.

The Lady Spartans finished their season 36-11, losing the state quarterfinals to the Lovett Lions.

“I feel like this team has bonded better than any other team I’ve ever played with,” said junior Carter Fricano.

 

 

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