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Expectations high for young squad

Fort Dale Academy has always been known for its football, tennis and basketball teams when it comes to athletic excellence.

Second-year coach Scarlett McNaughton wants to add volleyball to that elite list.

But she knows that her teams will have to take some lumps along the way before becoming consistent contenders for a state volleyball crown.

The Eagles managed just four wins last season in McNaughton's first year, and Fort Dale's lone senior on the squad Brittney Moorer said it was because of the Eagles' lack of aggression.

"I think you'll see a more aggressive team this year," Moorer said. "And I think with coach (McNaughton) returning, we know what she expects out of us."

Fort Dale opens the season Thursday against Meadowview Christian in Greenville.

McNaughton said that Thursday's game will be the true litmus test as to whether he team has the desire to improve on its disappointing season from a year ago.

"I'll find out after that first game if they are just out to have fun, or whether they want to win," she said.

The Eagles will be younger than last season. Moorer is the only senior on the team that graduated four seniors last year.

A majority of the team is made up of sophomores and freshmen. The 15-girl roster has just one senior, two juniors and a seventh-grader. The rest are sophomores and freshmen.

Still McNaughton will have high expectations of her young squad.

"I expect them to give it their all each game and play their best," she said.

And one day McNaughton hopes to make room in the trophy case for a volleyball title.

"I know volleyball isn't a very popular sport around here, but we have girls here who want to win," she said. "That attitude plus support from the community will only make us successful in time."