Patriots finish strong season

Published 6:32 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Lady Patriots overcame early adversity on their way to having one of their better seasons in recent memory.

It was a season to remember for the Patriots. They brought in a new coach just hours before their first game and despite all the distractions, they finished the season with an 8-9 record, seven wins more than they had all of last year.

“They have come a long way since the beginning of the season,” said head coach Mallory Floyd. “Last year I think they won one game, so they have come a long way.”

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The Patriots finished fourth in their area, meaning they had to be matched up with Edgewood, the state’s number one team in the opening round of the playoffs.

“It was difficult,” Floyd said. “Edgewood, I think, is number one in the southern part of the state. They made huge improvements especially in communication.”

The Patriots went through the summer with Madison Hulsey as their head coach. Prior to their first game of the season, the school elected to go in a different direction. Floyd was thrown into the fire just hours before the opening match. Despite the adversity, the Patriots won their first match of the season.

“I was thrown into it, as was coach (Amy) Allen,” Floyd said. “They were very accepting when they didn’t have to be. I was very glad to have the opportunity. I came from coaching the last six years and then I wasn’t doing it anymore. I was glad to be back out there doing it. They listened when they didn’t have to. They were respectful all season long.”

Several players stepped up along the way for the Patriots. Mary Ramage was Floyd’s setter throughout the season and was looked upon to help lead the way.

“She never comes out,” Floyd said. “The whole game is centered around the setter. We have to have our passers and we have our hitters, but if we can’t get a set, we are not able to do those things. Mary played really well. She plays all the way around.”

Morgan Bundy was another player that was seen all over the court for the Patriots.

“She hustles and she is very athletic,” Floyd said. “She has great passes and she has great hits.”

Avery Henderson and Aubrey Maulden also contributed to the Patriots’ success.

“Avery plays really well,” Floyd said. “She has great hits. She plays the front row. Aubrey is a great back row player. All of my starters are really good players.”

Along the net, the Patriots got good production out of Grace Rushing.

“She is my middle blocker,” Floyd said. “She had some great hits. She is a great blocker; her height helps her with that.”

The Patriots had two seniors on this team in Madisyn Johnson and Maggie Phelps.

“I’m really going to miss them,” Floyd said. “They are good hitters and good players. We have some big shoes to fill for next year.”

The offseason just started, but Floyd already has ideas to capitalize on this momentum for next season.

“I already have some stuff in the works,” Floyd said. “We have some camps we are going to attend during the summer. We are going to get the ball rolling from the beginning. I think we are really going to benefit. We have some really good athletes and I think we can go really far next year.”