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SVJH plays volleyball short-handed

WILLOW WOOD — It takes cohesiveness for any team to succeed.

But this past season, the Symmes Valley Junior High 8th grade volleyball team took the word “teamwork” to a new level.

The Lady Vikings went 12-1 this year despite having only the minimum of six players the entire season.

According to Coach Christina Crabtree, playing three games to 25 points without the benefit of substitutes can make for some long nights.

“If any of my girls would have gotten sick, that would have been it,” Crabtree said, stressing that her six girls are a tough bunch. “A few nights, girls played sick. They sucked it up and went on their way.”

Megan Johnson, Lynzi Kelley, Kalli Hunt, Hannah Maynard, Paige Pemberton and Miranda Floyd impressed their coach all season long with their desire to win against teams with 10 to 14 players and the luxury of resting them all throughout the match.

“I have a lot of respect for this group of girls,” Crabtree stressed. “They knew it was them or nothing.”

For Megan Johnson, the key to the Lady Vikings success was communication. “We worked together really well and talked to each other,” she said. “All six of us have played together for two years.”

Lynzi Kelley agreed with Johnson and added that, due to remodeling in their gymnasium, the first practices were delayed for over a month. “It was kind of a shock that we won all of those games with only six of us, but we had really good teamwork,” she said.

Kelley also mentioned that fighting fatigue for entire three-game matches was difficult. “It was really tiring,” she said. “I loved time outs!”

However, not every match was laborious for the girls. “One time, we started a match at 5:45 and the other team was back on their bus at 6:07,” Crabtree recalled.

Crabtree, who teaches math at Symmes Valley High School, found that when it came to her volleyball team, 6 was the only number that really mattered.

“These are really good girls,” she said. “It was a wonderful year.”