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LOUISBURG VOLLEYBALL SENIOR TAYLOR FERGUSON

LOUISBURG -- Extensive experience with winning often brings about two distinct outcomes -- complacency and self-satisfaction or a desire to continue to maintain a high level of success.

Several members of Louisburg High School's current senior class have enjoyed an array of excellence through the years -- both in volleyball and softball.

And even members of the spike squad who don't play softball have also tasted plenty of heroics thanks to a State Finals trip in 2016 and a journey to the State Elite Eight last fall.

Now, with their graduation looming, it's up to long-time LHS volleyball skipper Erica Wammock to keep that fire burning through the spike campaign -- and later during next spring's softball schedule.

So far, so good.

LHS enjoyed almost perfect attendance for its summer volleyball workouts as the Lady Warriors look to defend their Northern Carolina Conference championship this fall.

"To be honest, it's always been like that,'' Wammock said of the summer work. "Kids just like to come because they see that being here in the summer makes them better. And if they are not here, they know someone else is working and is getting better.''

Wammock's club will definitely have a veteran flavor this season with the likes of returning seniors Journee Hartsfield, Kaylee Saunders and Taylor Ferguson, among others.

Kristen House, a junior, was a pleasant surprise at hitter last fall and will enjoy and even larger role up front this time around.

For Louisburg, the biggest question will be how to replace four-year standout Whitney Bolton, a middle hitter who will continue her career at Meredith College.

Bolton will go down as one of the best frontliners the tradition-rich program has ever produced, so her shoes won't be easy to fill.

Ti'ashia Frazier spelled Bolton at times last year and gained a reputation as a solid defender. Wammock says that Frazier has been working hard to improve her offensive skills -- and has succeeded in that quest.

Abby Nelms and sisters Dana and Diana Potter have earned promotions from the junior varsity squad, and freshman Taylor Leonard could make an immediate varsity impact after a strong career at Terrell Lane Middle School.

"Of course, we are going to miss Whitney,'' Wammock said. "But I think we will have a lot more depth this year. We have girls who can play a lot of different positions.''

Louisburg also has one intangible that can't be taught in practice -- experience in big matches over the past two years.

"This group of girls does not believe in losing,'' Wammock said. "And what really helps is that, when girls graduate, they still come back and be in the gym with us.

"Whitney, Sarah Foster and Summer Phillips have been with us this summer, and the younger kids see the commitment they have to the program even after they are gone.''

Louisburg will open its schedule August 13 at home versus Falls Lake Academy.

LHS' preseason scrimmage plans had yet to be finalized at press time.


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