Pike Lib looks for more success in year two as a part of AHSAA

Published 1:29 pm Friday, July 28, 2023

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The Pike Lib Lady Patriots won an area championship in their first year competing in AHSAA Volleyball and will look to continue that success this season.

The Pike Lib Volleyball team was the very first team in school history to win an area or region championship as a part of the AHSAA and the first team in school history to make it the state playoffs in any sport.

The Lady Patriots have been busy at work during summer workouts, competing in a number of play dates, to get ready for fall practices.

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“They’ve gone good,” PLAS Coach Lara Lea Jones said. “We had a lot of girls showing up and they’re getting stronger and working hard every day. I’m excited to see how our season goes.”

Jones, who was last season’s All-Messenger Coach of the Year, will look to her veteran returners to lead the way this season. Senior Emma Baker earned All-Messenger honors as a junior in 2022 and is among those leaders.

“We have three seniors this year and I’m really looking to lean on those girls,” Jones said. “Addie Renfroe, Emma Baker and Rylee Copeland are our seniors. Amaia Vargas is a junior and is another one of our leaders.”

The Lady Patriots open fall practices on Aug. 7. Pike Lib will open the season at home against GW Long on Aug. 24.

“We just have to settle in and make sure that we’re comfortable and they just have to have more time playing together as a group,” Jones said heading into fall practices. “We haven’t been together much for the past 6-7 months. We have to come back together – in a game-like situation – and give 110 percent all the time and reacquaint ourselves with each other and get going again working as a unit instead of as individuals.”

After making it to regionals in their first year with the AHSAA, Jones wants to see her Lady Patriots advance even further in the postseason.

“In my mind, I was absolutely shocked with how well we did last year,” Jones said. “I couldn’t have been more happy with the way we played, so anything after the area championship was just a blessing.

“To me, I want us to make it further than we did last year. We have the talent and the capability to at least make it to the final round (of regionals) and make it to Birmingham. So, that’s our goal.”