Bradwell Institute head volleyball coach De’Andre Davis knows what it takes to win.
His boys’ track team has won six region titles in the last seven years and is one of the most respected programs in Southeast Georgia. In his second season coaching volleyball, he is starting to take those same steps toward building a competitive program.
“Last season was a struggle for us. Ninety percent of our team was new,” he said. “We got better as the season progressed. We lost some close games. Youth and speed will be our biggest strength. The girls saw last year as a disappointing season. They have held each other accountable. Our goals for this year (are) to get better week by week, become a family and make it into the postseason.”
Davis helped build the team’s bond and athleticism during tough summer workouts. The Lady Tigers worked on strength and stamina in traditional ways, but also by pushing and pulling tires.
The team has been building endurance by doing a lot of running to try and be in better shape than other teams. Bradwell worked on technique and played against good competition at a team camp at Georgia State University.
“Summer workouts has helped us tremendously,” Davis said. “The girls have gotten stronger and faster. Going to the team camp at Georgia State has made us better all around.”
Returning starters Whitney Anderson, Emily Ramsey and Kiera Martin will give the Lady Tigers a solid foundation for this season. Newcomers Miracle Fata, Ayanna Miller, Tatyanna Ortiz and Zarina Aure should make immediate impacts for the team.
“We need to work on communication and confidence. Once we establish those things, we will be all right,” Davis said.
Bradwell plays in a new region this year, which is going to be one of the toughest in every sport.
“With the new region, every team we face will be tough. We will see a lot of athleticism and good technique in this new region,” Davis said.
The Lady Tigers open the season Aug. 12 against Southeast Bulloch and New Hampstead in Brooklet.