Bay volleyball turning program around this season

Local Sports

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – In Bay County, there’s a lot of talent when it comes to the volleyball court, and one team that hopes to rise in the rankings is the Bay Tornadoes.

The Tornadoes may only be 3-2 right now, but the record doesn’t tell the full story.

The team has already got some big wins for the program. They took down Marianna to kick off their year and beat North Bay Haven last week in a five set thriller.

According to Maxpreps, the last time Bay took down the Buccaneers was in 2013.

“Our win against North Bay Haven was huge last week not because it was North Bay Haven because our team has a tendency to push great teams to five and then fall. Last week we went to five and went 17-15, that itself was a huge success for us, overcoming that mental barrier,” head coach Sierra Burris said.

The team said there is not a magic spell for the turnaround, instead it comes down to their chemistry. The players all gel with each other more than in year’s past and so they turned it into their motto too.

“GEL stands for gratitude, effort and love. And whenever we’re down in a game, it’s typically not because the girls are doing anything wrong but it’s, we’re not treating each other the same, we’re not there to support each other. So making sure that we are putting in the love first. When that’s taken care of, everything else does,” Burris said.

“We really do, I think everybody trusts each other a lot more and we’re kind of morphing a lot more. When one person does great, it’s kind of like we all are very happy,” Bay High player Keyarra Hamilton said.

Just because this Tornadoes team is better than the last doesn’t mean their season will be a cakewalk.

They schedule those tough Panhandle opponents all throughout the year on purpose.

“Last year we had the opportunity to go past the district tournament, we came second in districts and then we went to Santa Fe and got our booty’s whooped. I was like oh, we need to prepare for postseason. It’s not enough to hope we do well in normal season and pray we do well against south Walton and North Bay Haven in districts,” Burris said.

The team said their work is definitely far from over.

“Well I definitely think this season our goal is just to keep building. Definitely leading into districts like we want our record to keep growing. And we want to play these hard teams knowing that win or lose we’ve taken something out of it,” Bay libero Rehtaeh Sutton said.

Bay will take on South Walton on Thursday night.

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