Panola volleyball still hoping for banner year

By Ryan Peterson - bio | email

CARTHAGE, TX (KLTV) -   With a brand new national tournament banner hanging in the gym, the Panola volleyball team entered the season with big ideas.

"It was really good to get a banner," said sophomore Courtnee Davis.  "But we want to go a lot further this year."

Already reaching a top ten ranking, the Fillies are a bit shorthanded.

According to Longview Police, last week three Panola volleyball players were arrested for theft off campus.  By the end of the week, those three players and three others were removed from the roster. Nearly half the team.

"This program means a lot to me," said Panola head coach Nicole McCray-Thorn.  "And we were looking for great character kids that can contribute on and off the court, but at the same time carry themselves in a classy manner."

With only 9 players on the roster over the weekend, Panola swept through their own tournament.  The Fillies then opened conference play with another win Monday night.

"I think us winning four games has been a big shock to everybody," said sophomore Autumn Foster.

"I cannot explain how proud I am of our team," said Thorn.  "I don't think anyone thought we'd win this past weekend in our first conference match on Monday except our team. I think we were out on a mission to prove to everyone that we still have a goal and we want to achieve that goal."

The Fillies insist the goal of a national title banner is still within reach.

"At first we were kind of concerned," said sophomore Megan Little.  "But now that we've a had few games with us, I think we'll go far."

"It's the hand we've been dealt unfortunately," said Thorn.  "But we still have the nucleus of our team and as long we take care of each game one at a time, we believe we can still do it."

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