Senior-season ready

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, August 6, 2014

0806 spt-Stephanie Watts

Andalusia senior Stephanie Watts passes during an earlier practice. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Watts, AHS girls to start volleyball Aug. 28

Stephanie Watts didn’t come to the realization that she’s going to be a senior this season until volleyball picture day came last year.

When the realization hit, excitement replaced her sadness as she enters her last season playing the sport she loves the most.

“I think we’re going to be pretty decent this year, from what I’ve seen at practice,” Watts said about her teammates.

Andalusia is returning a more-experienced bunch of girls to the volleyball court this season. The Lady Bulldogs have a plethora of seniors who will highlight the team.

Position-wise, Shelby Meeks will play up front; Alexis Lawrence will be more of an outside hitter; Merikal McCaskill and Keyasha Comer will be up front, too.

Behind the front line is where Watts does her best.

Throughout her junior season, the libero made sure she was a big part in almost every defensive play.

“I try to give every thing I got every game,” Watts said. “Bruises only last a little while.”

Watts began playing volleyball in middle school in eighth grade. She then started connecting with it and has loved it ever since.

“I like being out there,” she said. “I love everything about it. Everything about it just makes me excited. I love looking forward to summer workouts and looking forward to the games, and I love meeting new people and just having a game.”

Andalusia will be competing in Class 4A, Area 2 with Ashford, Headland and rival, Straughn this season.

Area tournament action will be held Oct. 21 at the regular-season area winner’s school.

The Super Regional will be back at the Multiplex at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery Oct. 25-26, with the Elite 8 State Tournament at the Crossplex in Birmingham on Oct. 29-30.

Watts said she’s been in talks with AHS volleyball coach Angie Grimes about what the team can accomplish this season.

“Coach Grimes and I talked about us going farther and us making it past (the regional) and winning and getting rings,” Watts said. “We talked about us having higher goals and being better than we were last year.”

Watts and the Lady Bulldogs will start that venture on Aug. 28 when they host Kinston.

Watts is the daughter of Ricky Watts and Christy Watts of Andalusia.