ROANOKE (WSLS 10 SPORTS) –
When you walk into the gym at Cave Spring you’re quickly reminded of the Knights rich history in volleyball. In fourteen seasons under coach Tamalyn Tanis, the school had 10 state semifinal runs capturing 5 championships. Now the team is hoping to keep the tradition alive under new coach Deon Matthews.
“When you follow 5 state championships since 2003 that’s an impressive record by itself and add the number of kills and the amount of talent, following that is very hard to do”, said Matthews.
No stranger to the program, Matthews served as the junior varsity coach last season and an assistant to Tanis prior to that. The team lost its entire starting lineup to last years graduating class but Matthews’ familiarity with the program, gives the players a sense of comfort.
“He knows like just how far to push us before it’s too much and just someone we can always count on”, said junior Erin Harrison.
While most would assume that a changing of the guard means a change in philosophy coach Matthews says he hopes to keep that same winning system here at Cave Spring.
“They were like hey a new coach coming in we don’t know what’s going on. But then whenever they found out I was coming it was kind of a relief for them. Ok not much is changing”, said Matthews.
With a young team and the departure of a legendary coach, the Knights say many teams are overlooking them but they use that as motivation to get stronger every day.
“We need to really just work on having confidence and realizing we do have potential and ability to go out and win games”, said senior Morgan Starnes.
“The girls are only going to get stronger in the future and the better they get the more people understand it’s still the same Cave Spring we’ve had the entire time”, said coach Matthews.