G.W. Long volleyball ranked first in Class 2A seeking another state title

Local Sports

SKIPPERVILLE, Ala. (WDHN) — The G.W. Long volleyball team is ranked the number one Class 2A team in the state heading into the regional tournament on Wednesday.

Bringing home another state championship ring is keeping the Rebels motivated.

In 2019 the Lady Rebels were state champions. Last year they fell short in the state championship finals.

Senior Breana Henning says being on both sides of a state title works in their favor.

“It kind of bothered us a lot because we won the year before so we know how it is to win and how it is to lose,” Henning said. “We know it feels better to win so we’re pushing to get that feeling again. We’re not going in with big heads thinking ‘Oh we won two years,’ because we got the loss last year. I feel like we know we have to work for it and it’s not just going to come easy.”

To get to that state tournament, they have to make it through the regional tournament on Wednesday.

Head Coach Craig Long says the girls experience playing in big games before is a major benefit.

“The girls are playing hard and we’re just trying to focus on one point at a time, one set at a time, one match at a time,” Long said. “Just worry about what we do and not worry about what everybody else is doing.”

This season the Rebels won 32 games and only dropped six.

Last week they beat rival Ariton to win the area crown for the third year in a row.

The girls credit their team chemistry and drive with their key to success.

“We’re all just motivated,” sophomore Ally Whitehead said. “It’s just how we were born. We’re motivated to win, just to compete. That’s how our team is. We like to motivate each other, tell each other to do well if they mess up and that’s just how we build our greatness.”

They’ve definitely built greatness this season, the Lady Rebs have been ranked number one since the end of August.

“We know people look at us and think they’re number one team so we’re going to beat them,” junior Emma Claire Long said. “We have a target on our back and everyone’s pushing to beat us so we just have to play hard and play like the team we are.”

“They’re going to fight us really hard, but we just have to fight back,” Whitehead said. “It’ll end up how God’s plan wants it to be.”

Team members say to stay at the top, they have to play every game like it’s the state championship.

The Rebels first match of the regional tournament in Montgomery is at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday against Lanette High School. How they do at this week’s tournament determines whether or not they make it to the Elite Eight in Birmingham.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories