Vancleave ready to defend title as district playoffs begin

The bulldogs end the 2018 regular season with 35-2 record, 8-0 in district play

Vancleave begin title defense as district playoffs begin

VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - For the Vancleave volleyball team, there is no where to go but up - up to the rafters that is - where the expectation is to not only win, but win at a high level.

“I think we strive for greatness,” senior middle blocker Carley Danley says. “We always try to play our best.”

Not to take anything away from their predecessor’s success, this group of bulldogs are trailblazers after capturing Vancleave High School’s first-ever state title in any sport in 2017. It was a feeling of satisfaction, a feeling they would like to have again.

“It’s just such a rush of adrenaline,” junior middle blocker Peyton Mckerchie says. “It’s like a volleyball high, it’s amazing!”

“To know that we made it that far, it took us a long way,” senior defensive specialist Khadeejah Franklin says. “It’s a long journey, but just to know that we accomplished it let’s us know that if we stay humble we can do it again."

Returning practically their entire roster from last year and losing just two matches in the regular season, Vancleave enters the postseason poised to run the table, but they aren’t taking anything for granted.

“You always are worried because you never know what’s coming,” McKerchie says. “We like to stay positive.”

"We can’t control what’s on the other side of the net. We can only control what’s on our side of the net, " Franklin says. “We do have faith and know that we can do it.”

No matter the opponent, all roads must go through Vancleave and the bulldogs are embracing the target on their back.

“Good luck everyone, but Vancleave volleyball is not done and we are on the way,” Franklin says.

The bulldogs open district playoffs against McComb Thursday at home at 6 p.m.

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