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Volleyball: Five players to watch for in 2019
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North Forsyth's Kate Perryman upped her dedication to volleyball as a sophomore and elevated herself to one of the best players in the county. - photo by Ian Frazer

This year’s high school volleyball season hasn’t arrived just yet, but it’s already clear that there will be some changes to the county landscape.

Last season, West Forsyth made a deep and surprising run to the state semifinals and South Forsyth made it to the second round, but this year, both of those squads seem to be retooling after the loss of some key seniors. Even Lambert, who has its best player returning from an injury, will need some new names to step up.

Here are some players that will be looking to do just that for their respective teams this year.

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Lambert's Ally Hall, a Middle Tennessee State commit, is looking to come back strong after tearing her ACL during her junior year. - photo by Ian Frazer

Ally Hall, Lambert, Sr.

Hall has been a cornerstone player for the Longhorns over the last few years, but saw her junior season cut short by a torn ACL suffered midway through the year. In the time she did play, though, Hall was more than effective: She totaled 180 kills and 195 assists with a .373 hitting percentage. Hall committed to Middle Tennessee State before last season, and was recently cleared to play her senior season, where she’ll be looking to make up for all her lost time.

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North Forsyth's Kate Perryman takes a swing at a ball during the Raiders' game at West Forsyth on Sept. 11, 2018 at West Forsyth High School - photo by Ian Frazer

Kate Perryman, North Forsyth, Jr.

Perryman was once a two-sport athlete at North, playing with the very successful girls basketball team in addition to her duties on the volleyball team. Last year, though, she decided to focus solely on volleyball, and that extra attention to the sport paid off. She racked up 331 kills with a .220 hitting percentage in her sophomore season, but her 6-foot-2 frame has also suited her well to be North’s best blocker, totaling 106 blocks last year. On a team that’s still trying to find itself after missing the playoffs, Perryman looks to be a key building block for North’s immediate future.

Sam Macaluso, South Forsyth, Jr.

South Forsyth came just short of earning the Area 5-7A title, and Macaluso certainly made a significant difference in the War Eagles’ success as their defensive specialist. She took area defensive player of the year honors for her sophomore season with 219 digs, and as a server, she recorded 45 aces. South may be looking for someone to step up as a scorer this year, but defensively, they should be in good shape with Macaluso leading the way.

Carra Sassack, West Forsyth, So.

West’s deep run was the result of a team that came together at just the right time, and Sassack’s performance during her freshman season contributed well as the Wolverines got hot. She finished the year with 411 assists and 223 digs, and with standout seniors Annie Veldhuis and Olivia Dodd now graduated, she’ll no doubt be an important piece in West’s 2019 campaign.

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South Forsyth's Avery Svehla is looking to step into the shoes left vacant by the graduation of War Eagles star outside hitter Molly Bergin. - photo by Ian Frazer

Avery Svehla, South Forsyth, Jr.

In the offseason, South lost its best player from last year in Molly Bergin, who will soon be playing her freshman season at Berry College. The War Eagles will be looking to replace the kind of offensive production she brought to the court, and Svehla looks to be a key piece in that goal. In her sophomore season, she had 199 kills, 54 aces and a .160 hitting percentage, all numbers that she’s looking to improve on during her first year as an upperclassman.