The Community School of Davidson volleyball team is like one, big family for many reasons.While head Coach Mike Perkins, his wife (and assistant coach) Jessie, and daughters Megan and Molly are related by blood, the whole team has had a tight-knit feeling since they formed as a junior varsity team four years ago.After going 36-12-3 over the past two seasons as a varsity team, the players and coaches have gotten even closer.“We’ve always been a pretty tight group, from the kids to the coaches and parents, it’s all like a big family that works together,” Mike Perkins said. “It’s almost like I have 16 daughters on the volleyball team. I think that is a big reason why we have been so successful so fast.”“We’ve all known each other for a long time now,” said Megan Perkins, a junior. “It definitely feels like a family more than any time I’ve been on before. I think that allows us to not worry about anything but playing volleyball. We know even when we have a bad day; we’re all going to still be there for each other.”The Spartans (16-5-1, 12-0 Southern Piedmont 1A) get contributions from all over – from the seniors to the freshmen class.It all starts with 6-foot-2 senior middle blocker Sarah Fink, who not only leads the team in kills and blocks, but will be play at Davidson next season.Fink notched her 500th career block in just two varsity seasons during senior night match against Lincoln Charter.“Sarah is a huge key for our team,” Mike Perkins said. “She can dominate a game with her size and talent.”But Fink has a lot of help, even in the middle where 6-foot-1 freshman Gabbi Montgomery has also come up big.While Fink also shifts to the outside at times, junior Tina Brumm and freshman Sarah Godkin have been strong on the outside.Megan Perkins shifted from the outside hitter to libero early this season, and has been good defensively as she leads the team in digs and hustle plays. Right side junior Madison Cosby is also a solid defender.Meanwhile, sophomore setter Kylee Gomilla is the “glue for everything,” according to Mike Perkins, as she directs the offense. “We really have a nice triangle at all times, with Sarah in the middle, Kylee setting, Megan on defense and Tina on the outside,” Mike Perkins said. “Of course, we’ve had many more players step from the freshman to the seniors.”Mike Perkins says his team’s success also comes from many of the players’ year-round commitment to the sport – from the Lake Norman Volleyball Club, where Perkins helps out, to the Carolina Junior Volleyball Club and more – where most of the team is constantly working on their games against top competition.The entire CSD squad also got a big boost when Lake Norman Volleyball Club coach Molly Gwaltney, a setter at Belmont Abbey, became an assistant coach with the Spartans.“Coach Gwaltney has really helped us a lot, she sets very high goals for us,” Megan Perkins said. “Whether it’s in practice or a game, she pushes us very hard to play at a high level, because we want us to be playing our best volleyball.”The Spartans are looking good, as they won their final 11 regular season games to end the season and know what it’s like to play against some of the area’s best, after playing teams like Rock Hill and Charlotte Catholic.Now, their focus turns to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A playoffs, where CSD has had some success, winning a playoff play-in game against Woods Charter before also taking their first-round contest against West Montgomery last year.That run, plus their much more consistent play this year, has the Spartans thinking even bigger.“Our ultimate goal from day one of the practice was to get back to the playoffs and win a (1A) state championship,” Megan Perkins said. “We’ve not only talked about it, but we all believe we can get there and win it.”
Monday, Oct. 14, 2013
Spartans’ volleyball a family affair
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer for the Lake Norman News. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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