Four Lady Raiders earn VCC awards
Published 8:55 am Friday, November 14, 2014
While playing volleyball this season for Southampton Academy, awards were one of the furthest things from the teams’ collective mind. But at the end of the day, two sophomores, a junior and a senior were able to take home some VISAA Virginia Commonwealth Conference awards.
Mason Pope, a sophomore, was all-conference first team; Allison Matthews, a sophomore, was all-conference second team; Haley Drewry, a senior, was an honorable mention; and junior Morgan Garris made the all-academic team.
Pope was surprised because she regarded her season as merely OK, but she said she was honored to be recognized.
“I was excited to represent for my school,” Pope said.
Head Coach Crystal Butler said Pope had a great season, being first in every major category but assists. The sophomore had 174 kills, 48 aces, 79 blocks and 201 digs.
“She is just a great all-around athlete,” Butler said. “I’m looking forward to having her and Allison for another two years.”
Matthews, Drewry and Garris were also surprised.
“It was cool, though,” said Drewry. “It was the first time I have ever ben recognized or gotten an award.”
“I didn’t think it was going to happen,” Matthews admitted. She said she thought she played well, but said, “I was still surprised.”
The libero player was second in digs with 178.
“Allison did a great job embracing that role,” Butler said. “Playing on the back row was new to her, but she did really well with it and hustled to the ball. She took charge of the back court like a libero needs to do.”
Butler said Garris did a great job in the classroom this season and was a joy to have on the team.
Drewry was in a new position this year as a setter, and she led in assists with 164.
“She was a captain and leader on the court,” Butler said. “I was really proud of her, and I am going to miss her next year.”
Garris said she enjoyed playing volleyball this season.
“I think the season was good,” she said. “I got to play with a lot of great people and create a bond — a family-like bond.”
“Yeah, I think we came together as a team and played pretty well,” Matthews added.
Pope said she’d miss the girls that were leaving, but she was excited to have two more years to build the program.
“I think we accomplished more than I thought we would,” she said of this season, though once they got going in the postseason, Pope added, “I wish we would have won the whole thing.”
Drewry is one of a few seniors on the team, and she’s both excited and sad.
“I am definitely ready for college. Go Pirates!” Drewry said, as she’s planning to attend East Carolina University in the fall. “But I’m definitely going to miss team sports like volleyball.
“I think we did really well this year, especially seeing that we had a lot of new faces on the team.”