By Noah Rubin
For the Forsyth County News
Graduating a player as talented as Kate Perryman is never easy for a team. Perryman, who is now playing at Air Force Academy, was a big piece of the Raiders’ team last season.
However, North Forsyth seemingly hasn’t missed a beat.
The Raiders have a very young team, but they’ve gotten off to a great start to the season. After 2-0 victories over North Cobb Christian and Roswell, North Forsyth is now sitting at 9-2 and are continuing to grow as a team.
North's wins on Thursday came against a pair of region champions. North Cobb Christian captured Region 7-1A Private last season and reached the Sweet 16 before bowing out against eventual state runner-up Hebron Christian. Roswell, meanwhile, won the Region 5-7A title in 2020 and advanced to the Elite Eight.
“I’m really impressed,” Christensen said. “At the beginning of the season we were struggling. We were trying different lineups and just waiting for something to click. The girls just kept battling through adversity when we were struggling. They knew we were better than what we were. I feel like Tuesday was when we really found a lineup that clicked, and we just rolled into it tonight with that same confidence that they gained on Tuesday. I’m just really impressed with our girls.”
Those wins Tuesday were 2-0 victories over Johns Creek and Sandy Springs. The most impressive fact about this Raiders’ team is they don’t have a single senior on their team.
You wouldn’t be able to tell that just by watching them.
“It’s not anything that we talk about,” Christensen acknowledged. “Obviously we know that we’re young. We don’t have any seniors, and we’ve got three juniors, but they don’t play like a young team. They’re playing with a point to prove, and they’re on a mission. So, it’s fun to watch them because they don’t play like a bunch of freshmen and sophomores.”
One of those sophomores who has stood out so far is Brooke Crummel. She’s been the focal point of the team and has a team-high 78 kills so far this season.
Another young player that’s been a big piece for the Raiders this season is sophomore Lily Torrence. Not everything she does can be measured in the stat sheet, but she’s been a crucial part of the team’s success this season.
“[Lily’s] played all around, but her main position is center,” Christensen said. “But she’s really become an offensive threat for us here lately. She’s just really consistent and keeps the ball in play. She’s smart. She sees the floor. Lily’s the biggest one that’s stepped up here recently.”
It may not have shown in these matches, but the team’s lack of experience has been a point of growth for the team early on this season.
“Being mentally tough because we are that young team and that youth gets to our head sometimes,” Christensen admitted. “Even though we never talk about it, it shows on the court at times. So, I think just being mature and moving on to the next play is probably one of the biggest things for us.”
The team definitely showed maturity against Roswell. Down 15-11 in the second set, North Forsyth scored on 10 of the next 11 volleys to take control of and eventually win the match.
The Raiders have a full slate of games Saturday, as they play four games over the course of the day. It’ll be a great opportunity for the young squad to continue to grow and for their potential to be on full display.