GAINESVILLE – An undefeated mark can breed confidence, but also complacency.
Gainesville volleyball player Savannah Roys was having none of the latter in her team’s quest for an area title after finishing the regular season 10-0 against area opponents.
“In the first match against Habersham Central (in the Area 8-AAAAAA tournament), we dropped the second set,” said Roys. “I brought the girls in and said that we weren’t losing and to focus; I think it brought out their fire and drive.”
Roys motivational moment also brought out a three-set win against the Raiders, then two sweeps of No. 2 seed Apalachee en route to the Red Elephants winning their second-straight area title.
“It felt amazing,” said Roys, who was named Area 8-AAAAAA MVP. “(Winning area) was one of our goals for the season, so I feel very accomplished and proud of what we’ve done.
In the tournament, Roys had 17 aces, 25 kills, 55 assists and 36 digs to cap off a week that began with sweeps of Oconee County and East Jackson on senior night (Roys had four aces, 15 kills, 27 assists and eight digs in the two matches).
“She set the tone and expectation of refusing to lose,” said Gainesville volleyball coach Randi Moore. “She let it be known that we were not walking out of that gym without the region trophy in our hands.”
For her efforts, Big Red’s senior No. 1 setter is the AccessWDUN Athlete of the Week presented by Coca-Cola United.
“She’s been a key leader and played a key role in the success of our team,” said Moore. “She started on varsity as the No. 1 setter her freshmen year and has taken that role to the next level. She’s set the tone for the kind of commitment and intensity level we want all of our players to have.”
Roys, who is committed to play college volleyball at Montevallo, sees herself as a quarterback on the court and takes pride in not only getting herself, but her teammates in the right positions to be successful.
“I want to lead with my competitiveness, but I’m also willing to be hard on my teammates when they need it,” said Roys. “I know that if I come out unfocused or lose my composure, they’ll follow me there as easily as they follow my lead when I’m doing well. I’m the captain and am proud of that.”