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Berkeley hoping for top spot in region

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By Rickey Ciapha Dennis Jr. For Berkeley Independent

http://www.berkeleyind.com/sports/berkeley-hoping-for-top-spot-in-region/article_b74cd854-aa86-11e7-a2b4-bb4aa26e2772.html

As the Stags near the end of fall ball, the volleyball squad hopes to shine in region play.

Berkeley is 4-9 overall and 4-3 in Region 8-AAAA heading into Thursday’s match against Beaufort. The Stags ranked second in the region behind Hilton Head. Berkeley’s season win total is three more victories than Berkeley clinched last season.

“It’s a big difference than last year,” BHS Coach Courtney Simmons said.

This year, the girls’ motivation and drive is significantly greater than the squad that notched only a single victory last season, Simmons said. Everything from chemistry to confidence has made for a stronger group.

“[The difference is] them actually being capable of trusting in themselves and realizing they have this talent and they’re on this team for a reason,” Simmons said. “It’s just a different team, period. Everything’s just changed.”

Berkeley’s wins came against Colleton County, Cane Bay, and two victories against Stall. Simmons noted that most of their losses were close matches.

“Even when we lost, we gave it a good fight,” Simmons said. “It’d be three sets, we win one, lose two of them and it’ll be [a] loss by two points.”

“It’s not just an easy win. We’ve given them some solid competition this season…we gave it our all.”

Berkeley’s leadership stems from players like setters Alyssa Scott and Madeline Pinson who steer the ship when things go astray.

“They’re absolutely tremendous,” Simmons said. “When we’re down, the girls look to them for guidance. They have done an excellent job.”

Junior defensive specialist Chelsea Cole also adds some fire on the court as well.

Berkeley has five matches left on its schedule that features a home match against Beaufort and a dual match against the Eagles again and Cane Bay. The games will finalize where Berkeley lands in the region as well as if they’ll see guaranteed playoff action. Hilton Head ranked first in region play as of Thursday.

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