A Sandhills Community College volleyball team that began the season with 13 new players celebrated a season of growth and accomplishment at a dinner held at the Dempsey Student Center last Monday.
The Lady Flyers returned from a Labor Day tournament trip to Northern Ohio with a record of 3-6 that included losses to 2018 National Champion and No. 1 ranked Owens CC, No. 3 ranked Columbus State and No. 7 Lorain County.
They bounced back to win Region 10 regular season and conference tournament titles. For the third year in a row they came within one win of advancing to the NJCAA Division III National Championship. The season came to an end with losses to Columbus State and Owens in the district tournament held at The Hangar.
Coach Alicia Riggan's squad finished with a record of 21-12. Owens went on to defeat Columbus State for the district title and again later in Rochester, MN for another national title.
"I know that success is measured on so many different levels," the coach said after the dinner. "I think these girls are among the most successful all-around that we have had in terms of talent on the court, in what they are doing in the community and in the classroom. I couldn't be more proud to be coaching them."
Lady Flyers Receive Post Season Recognition
In an announcement made by the NJCAA last Wednesday, middle hitter and Region 10 Player of the Year Carley Modlin was named an NJCAA Division III Honorable Mention All-American.
Before 85 attendees, the Flyer coach introduced the players. Sophomore Stephanie Page, who spent her freshman season at Pfeiffer University, was presented with her No. 1 jersey.
The other members of the team that are expected to return next season are Addison Campbell, Elyria Hackney, Charlotte Herring, Khalie Jones, Alexus McCrimmon and Mya Sencenbaugh. Williams and Sarah Faulk will not be returning.
Team awards announced by Riggan were: Most Improved – Jones, MVP Offense – Modlin, MVP Defense – Clontz, Flyer Award – Sencenbaugh.
"I've always been a team player," said Sencenbaugh who was praised by Riggan for her attitude and work ethic. "I like everybody to be happy and I cheer them on when they are down. I love how we do things together outside of volleyball. We all get along and enjoy each other's company."
Community Service is a Flyer Volleyball Tradition
Non-volleyball activities this season included the annual Pink Out fund raiser that is benefiting North Moore High School 11th grader Hernandez Villa who is being treated for cancer. In addition to meeting and exceeding their goals, members of the team have contributed over 580 hours of community service that include participation in youth volleyball camps.
Team building activities this year included team dinners, watching 2018 grad Tee' Ashia Lilly play for Fayetteville State and attendance at a Duke-UNC volleyball game.
It Takes a Village
Riggan, who reached the 200 win mark as the Flyers' coach back in September (now 216-97), talked about the "village" that it takes to maintain a successful program. She is looking forward to beginning limited team workouts in January in preparation for the 2020 season.
Assistant coaches this season included Kristin Hylton, Jacob Marley, Lindsay McMannon, student assistant coach Jordan Ward. Stefanie Mansfield served as the athletic trainer.
Among the many others recognized by Riggan were Game Day Manager, Rick Kruska, Academic Advisor Marsha Apke, Videographer Brian Marley, Donna Ford whose photographs appeared on a screen throughout the evening, Evan Davis, a member of the Flyer basketball team who served as a line official at home matches and Hackney, the team's work study person.
"We have six coaches and 13 girls," the coach said. "Everything we do is first class from the top down starting with President Dr. Dempsey's support. "We're part of a family and everyone is invested.
"Thank you parents for the daughters you're raising. We are absolutely honored to have them. This is as well-mannered a group as we've ever had. And they want to be successful."
Statistical Leaders: Kills – Modlin 364, Denman 236, Clontz, 173, McCrimmon 155; Assists – Lowe 593, Campbell 361, Digs – Williams 422, Clontz 266, Denman 258, Lowe 170; Block Total – Modlin 117, McCrimmon 37, Jones 26; Service Aces – Williams 45, Lowe 44, Campbell 38, Clontz 37, McCrimmon 33.
If you would like to support Flyers volleyball and all of our Sandhills Community College athletics programs, please consider joining our Flyers Club by clicking here.