SANFORD - The Central Carolina Community College volleyball team has a young team this year, as nine of the 10 athletes are freshmen.
The lone returning athlete is sophomore Desiree Freeman, who attended Western Harnett High School.
"This team is not as experienced as teams in the past, but will make up for it with heart, determination, and tenacity," said Head Coach Bill Carter, who notes that the Cougars' strength is in its core of captains - Freeman, and freshmen Savannah Gooding (Queens Grant High School) and Taylor Wagner (Pine Forest High School).
Freeman, a small outside hitter, will lead the team with her solid and consistent all-around play. Gooding brings a caring attitude and a lot of power to the Cougar attack, as well as a formidable block on the front row. Wagner's experience, vocal leadership, and great jump serve will help propel the team.
"I am excited about this team because of their true desire to learn and the joy they derive from playing the game of volleyball," said Carter.
"Our middle hitters, Kaydon Snook (Western Harnett High School) and Abbey Hayes (Harnett Central High School), are inexperienced but very athletic and learning the game at a rapid pace. We need our middles to continue to improve and start putting up a competitive block to protect our defense," said Carter. "I chose Daija Terry (Albemarle, Va.) to take on the setter position because I believe she listens intently and expresses herself through the game of volleyball. Daija leads with all-out hustle on the court.
"Our defensive crew, Natalia De Jesus Pla (Lee County High School), Kayliana De Jesus Pla (Osceola, Fla.), and Jackeline Lizama (Southern Lee High School), are three very passionate defenders who are ready to go in the game on a moment's notice to collect digs for the Cougars," said Carter. "A player to watch is Karina Guardado (Southern Lee High School), who will be running all over the court chasing after the ball with intense hustle and passion."
"This year's team will have to scrap and fight for any and every victory we can get, but by the time the tournament rolls around, I believe the Cougars will surprise many people by taking down a bigger opponent," said Carter. Tami Carter is assistant coach of the Cougars.
Here is the CCCC volleyball remaining regular season schedule:
Sept. 24 - Patrick Henry, 25 - at Surry, 27 - Davidson County, 29--at Vance-Granville.
Oct. 1 - Louisburg, 3 - at Rockingham County, 6 - at Davidson County, 8 - at Sandhills, 10 - at Wytheville, 13 - Vance-Granville, 15 - at Patrick Henry, 20 - Rockingham County.
For more information on Central Carolina Community College athletics, visit the website www.cccc.edu/sports.
Desiree Freeman is a captain of the Central Carolina Community College volleyball team.
Savannah Gooding is a captain of the Central Carolina Community College volleyball team.
Taylor Wagner is a captain of the Central Carolina Community College volleyball team.