Warrior Volleyball Serves up a Brand New Season


Jack Stenger

Team seniors (l to r) Adenike Makinde, Grace Gardner, Rachel Brown, Hayden Emry, Ansley Barbieri, Arielle Lestandie and Emily Mears.

Fall semester means plenty of brand new things. It also means the start of another action-packed season for the Warrior volleyball squad.

The team started practicing on Aug. 1 with a successful  2017-18 campaign in mind. Expectations have been raised as new community coach Jessica Lewis arrived with plenty of years experience coaching high school squads. The team’s faculty coach is English teacher Star Brakin. Team leaders are senior captains Adenike Makinde and Arielle Lestandie along with junior captains Pressley Perkins and Jenna Campbell.  

Among her peers, Lestandie is known as a fierce competitor. She said she and fellow captain Makinde are pushing to get past regionals and make it to the state playoffs. “Both of our coaches expect a lot from us and that means this year there’s a lot more rigor in our practices,” she said.

Lestandie said the team has been helped by an infusion of a lot of underclassmen talent, including freshmen Madeline Bartlett, Honor Campbell along with twins Emilie and Kathryn Jacobus. Despite strong incoming ranks and experienced upperclassmen, it’s been rough going for the Warriors thus far in the 2017 campaign. The team has five losses against no wins and has dropped matches against North Hall, North Forsyth, Riverwood, Mount Pisgah and Pace Academy.

Last year, the Warriors finished overall 21-18 and the team clinched another APS championship title. Like all Warrior teams, the volleyball squad plays in the hyper-competitive 6A Area 7 region, which means the team has to go up against volleyball powerhouses like Dunwoody and Alpharetta. Now going into their second year in the region, the team now has experience playing against challenging schools and can make improvements in order to achieve more success within the region games. “We’re putting in a lot more work this year. We’ve got a great coach who has been pushing us and captains that are doing the same,” said junior Delaney Elder.

Elder said the team has been putting more time in the gym along with working on improving technique.

By taking one game at a time, the squad sets the bar high in hopes for the first ever state run in the program and looks to carry a name for North Atlanta Volleyball for the season and beyond.