By Taylor Svehla’s standards, the 2014 volleyball season maintained the status quo.
The South Forsyth senior middle hitter was named Region 6-AAAAAA Player of the Year (second time), All-State Class AAAAAA (third time) and is the Forsyth County News’ Volleyball Player of the Year (third time).
But Svehla’s performance this season was even more critical for the Lady War Eagles after the loss of nine seniors off a Final Four team.
Svehla provided the stabilizing force that South needed to continue its playoff success. The senior tallied 593 kills – including the 1,500th of her career – to along with 169 digs and 90 blocks. She helped the Lady War Eagles go 36-20, finish runner-up in Region 6-AAAAAA and reach the quarterfinals of the Class AAAAAA tournament for the third straight season.
Question: How would you describe your 2014 season?
Svehla: “It was a little rocky at the beginning, but we definitely came together as a team. We worked really hard, and I think we improved a ton.”
Q: What was the biggest challenge this season?
Svehla: “The biggest challenge was probably getting everybody on the same page and getting everybody to have the same goal in the end and work really hard in practice and to communicate.”
Q: How about the biggest highlight?
Svehla: “Personally, the biggest highlight probably was my 1,500th kill, which was really exciting for me. But as a team, I just think we did really well. We really came together at the end of the season.”
Q: Was there an area of your game you tried to improve on?
Svehla: “On the court was blocking. Sometimes the footwork wasn’t there, and sometimes the hands and core weren’t there, but I definitely worked really hard to improve. I think it got better. There’s obviously always room for improvement, but it got better.”
Q: As a senior, what did it mean to you to be a part of the South program?
Svehla: “It’s a great program, and I’m so happy to have met all the people and coaches. I had a really great time, and I think I learned a lot of lessons. I hope to be an inspiration to younger girls who want to play volleyball.”
Q: Did you ever expect to make two Elite Eights and a Final Four in your career?
Svehla: “I never expected that. I knew we were going to be a pretty good team my sophomore year, so I was pretty excited for that. But at the same time, I went into it expecting nothing and was just going to go all out and wherever we ended up would be where we were.”
Q: What’s in store for you after high school?
Svehla: “Right now I’m working a job coaching for a travel team, and then I’m just going to go to college. I’m excited.”
Q: Why did you decide not to pursue athletics in college?
Svehla: “I think it’s just time to be a student and to focus on studies and have a social life and just relax for a little bit.”