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Weaver, volleyball team ready to ‘break through’ 8/12/22

Weaver, volleyball team ready to ‘break through’

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools 


Kim Weaver isn’t the only coach to have been affected by the events of COVID-19. There were other first-year coaches who had to overcome numerous obstacles such as the spread of COVID. 


The third-year Alma coach is thankful she’s been able to establish herself from the ground up. 


Three years later, Weaver and the Lady Airedales are ready to take a step forward. 


“I’m super grateful now that I’ve had the time to get to know the kids,” she said. “The seniors, they had just finished their ninth-grade year when I was hired. I was with them for about a week when COVID shut everything down (March of 2020). 


“Our starting point is so far past where it was three years ago.”


Alma enjoyed plenty of summer success in June and July, including how to overcome late deficits. 


“Once you start to taste it, and your start to experience it, it (winning) puts everything in perspective,” Weaver said. “It’s like, ‘This is why I’ve worked so hard, and you don’t always get that.’ You can still put in the work and lose. But for kids to have some success is really important. 


“It’s so fun to see those on the other side and not the team that’s discouraged.”


Weaver returns a number of key pieces from the 2021 campaign, including seniors Rachel James and Mia Nichols. 


“We’re going to use her (James) in the middle and as a setter,” Weaver said. “That has been a game-changer. During her club season, they ended up giving her some reps in the middle and that’s been great for her and for us. Mia Nichols had an outstanding summer for us, too.”


Senior Layla Boyd came into her own last fall. This spring, she played competitive club ball. 


“Layla Boyd played club last year for the first time and it really transformed her game, Weaver said. “What’s going to be fun, too, is seeing Mabrey Birchfield, Ava Sharp and Ashtyn Carmack say, ‘Hey, I want my chance, too?’ 


“We’ve got this group who wants to contribute.”


Samantha Crook, Josalyn Harless, Julia Nutt, and Miranda Gibson, among others, are expected to have strong seasons. 


“We’ve got the pieces,” Weaver said. “I’m really pumped. Again, you don’t really know until you’re competing against Greenwood and Greenbrier.”


Zoey Thrift had an incredible spring and summer, Weaver added. “I think she’s going to be a difference maker.”