Tanai Watson, Gainesville: Tallies 69 assists, 17 service points and two aces in three wins and two losses last week.
Alyssa Turner, Gainesville: Recorded 21 kills, 16 service points and eight aces last week.
Kelsi Jones, West Hall: Notched 48 kills, 43 digs and 15 aces in three wins and a loss last week.
Emily Grainger, West Hall: Had 34 kills and 12 digs last week.
Tarryn Long, East Hall: Recorded 66 kills, 25 digs, 23 service points, eight aces, six blocks and two assists in three wins and a loss last week.
Kara Hix, East Hall: Tallied 96 digs, 26 service points, 14 kills, four aces and three assists last week.
Katie White, Lakeview Academy: Notched 48 digs, 19 kills and three aces in three wins and a loss last week.
Drew Puckett, Buford: Hit three home runs, one of them a grand slam, and a double in three wins last week.
Remington Hasty: Hit a three-run home run, a two-run home run, and two doubles in three wins last week.
Shelton Kendrix, Jackson County: Went 4 for 7 with four RBIs and three runs scores in a pair of wins last week.
North Hall libero Makenzie Bryant has no reservations about being in charge, even as one of the younger players on her volleyball team.
Bryant leads the Lady Trojans’ defense, and coach Emi Hughes is more than pleased with the sophomore’s play.
“She’s in charge of anybody on the back row,” Hughes said. “She tells them what to do and where to go, and that’s a lot of responsibility to set that up, but I couldn’t be happier with her.”
The position would be out of the comfort zone of most high school sophomores, but Bryant has a unique confidence and a strong skill set that separates her from the rest.
Last week, Bryant tallied 28 digs and five aces to help North Hall win three out of four games, She also aided the success of her teammates through leadership on the court.
For her efforts, Bryant is The Times’ Athlete of the Week.
“She has a different confidence about her, and she’s a great player,” Hughes said. “She does a good job of helping even the older players without stepping on anybody’s toes.”
Bryant attributes her confidence, skill and leadership mostly to her passion for the game and the rush she gets from making good plays.
“I love taking away the power from the other team’s outside hitters when they hit by digging it up, and it gets me really excited when I can pass that ball to our setter and get a point,” Bryant said. “It’s intimidating with the older girls on the court, but I have to make sure I know I’m in charge, and they trust me now to pass the ball so they can set it up.”
Bryant’s energy and excitement are evident on the court, according to Hughes, and her ability to be fearless against big opponents is a major asset to the team. She’s helped the Lady Trojans post a 25-10 record going into the final week of the regular season and the team appears poised to reach the state playoffs.
“She just has a fun spirit about her, and she brings a consistency to digging and passing,” Hughes said. “She enjoys playing good competition and rising to the occasion, and she likes playing against big hitters.”
Bryant’s eagerness spreads to the rest of the Lady Trojans and gives them motivation and momentum in important games, but although her spirit has always been strong, she had to develop into her role at libero after her freshman season.
“I had really good mentors last year that helped me transition into this role really easily,” Bryant said. “Now I’ve been with the team for longer, and I’ve gotten to know them better, so they trust my passing.”
One more thing North Hall can trust with Bryant on the court is that she gives nothing but her very best.
“You have to give your all when you’re on the court, and you have to make sure you get every single ball,” she said.