• 73°

LBWCC preps for inaugural volleyball season this fall

Janie Wiggins is ready to bring Lurleen B. Wallace Community College into the spotlight with its newest sport: volleyball.

Wiggins gets the nod of being the first head coach in program history. “Several people reached out to me once LBW made the announcement they were starting a program. I applied and was hired in February,” she said. President Dr. Brock Kelley is responsible for the development of the new program. “He has a vision for all athletics at LBW. I’m excited to be a part of what he has planned for the growth of the college,” she added.

Janie Wiggins will lead the Saints into their first volleyball season.

She is ecstatic about bringing volleyball to the junior college. “The excitement of the game itself is contagious! The community is anxious to come out and support the team. The opportunity to make a difference in these young ladies’ lives and to be able to help guide them through this stage of life is what I love most about coaching.” Wiggins said the team’s main goal is to prove they are competitive. “Many people out there think that because this is our first season that we won’t be very good. We will prove them wrong,” she explained.

The team will be made up of 14 players and one manager for the program’s opening season.

LBWCC opens its first year of existence Thursday and Friday, August 19 and 20 with a trip to South Carolina for a tournament at Spartanburg Methodist. The team remains on the road for conference matchups at Southern Union and Coastal South. The Saints make history Friday, August 27 when they host conference foe Wallace Selma in the program’s first-ever home match at noon.

September gets underway with trips to Bishop State, Walker State, and LaGrange. The Saints return to the remodeled Seth Hammett Gymnasium for a three-game conference homestand beginning Friday, Sept. 10 at 2 p.m. against Southern Union. Snead State visits the following day at 1 p.m. before Coastal East arrives in town Monday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. LBWCC then heads back on the road for a crucial six-match trip taking them throughout the state. The month closes in Andalusia against Coastal South on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. followed by another battle with Bishop State the next day at 3 p.m.

LBWCC heads to North Carolina for a tournament at Catawba Valley to open the month of October. After trips to Montgomery and Brewton, the team returns home for five matches to close out regular season play. The Saints welcome Bevill State and Pearl River for a tri-match Saturday, Oct. 16 beginning at 11 a.m. The regular season finale is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 22 with a 1 p.m. bout against Wallace Hanceville. The Alabama Community College Conference Championship will be held in Hanceville, Alabama, from Thursday, Oct. 28 through Saturday, Oct. 30.

“The 2021 schedule will be extremely competitive. People who don’t follow ACCC volleyball won’t know the level of competition we face within the state. I’ve watched this level with both my daughters competing over the years. My oldest, Alex, played at Wallace-Hanceville for 2 years and then went on to play for Alabama State. My middle daughter, Ali, will be playing her second season at Coastal South. Both of these programs along with many others in the state continue to play at a high level,” Wiggins said.

This will be Wiggins’ 27th year of coaching volleyball. She retired from coaching at the high school level after 25 years. “I continue to coach at the club level with Deep South. My first job out of college was at Enterprise State, and I coached there for 2 years. I started the volleyball and fastpitch softball program at Enterprise State,” she said.

LBWCC 2021 Volleyball Schedule

Building camaraderie within the team is important. Wiggins stated, “I’ve coached many years over the years, and they are all unique. Some years you have more talent, and some years, there is more heart. In the end, the teams with the best chemistry and work ethic have always been the most successful.”

Wiggins said the sport brings multiple opportunities to the college. “Not only will there be college volleyball on campus, but there will also be all levels of high school and even club. We have goals to bring as many to our beautiful campus and facilities as possible. This summer, we hosted individual skills and team camps. In the future, we plan on hosting college scrimmages and tournaments, FCA volleyball camps, club scrimmages, and tournaments.”

For more information contact Janie Wiggins at jwiggins@lbwcc.edu.