By Makely Gillin
(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) Amanda Blackney, Cedar Hill’s freshman volleyball head coach, is grateful for the leadership of the four seniors in the program.
“They have great leadership qualities and experience,” Blackney said. “They laid the foundation for many years to come. They know how to adapt to new strategies and new styles of coaching.
Cedar Hill volleyball seniors Kennedie Adley, Brianna Berry, Cheridan Camper and Asia Salter will play their final home match at 5:30 p.m. Friday against Duncanville. The Lady Longhorns (19-18) will honor the foursome before the game.
If Cedar Hill wins the game, it will be the program’s first winning season since 2018 and its first 20-win season since 2017.
The seniors have shared a love of the sport since they were younger, and they have set a good example for the eight sophomores in the program.
Salter said she really enjoys playing volleyball.
“At first I wanted to try it and realized I loved it later,” said Salter, who is preparing for the match with the right mindset. “I focus on what needs to be done and make sure to execute all effective strategies in my mind.”
Salter describes his coaches as helpful and patient. She balances volleyball and school work by being diligent in class.
“You just have to be on top of your game because once you’re on the court, you’re on the court,” Salter said. “I like to challenge myself on and off the pitch.”
She plans to attend Lamar University at Beaumont or the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in biology or music and playing NCAA Division I volleyball.
Berry prepares for games with the right mind and the right attitude.
“I try to build my confidence as much as possible and think about some strategies I can use during games,” Berry said.
Berry said the adrenaline rush and scoring made the sport exciting for her. She describes her coaches as direct.
“They let you know what needs to be done and help you fix the problem,” Berry said.
When it comes to balancing schoolwork and volleyball, Berry tends to focus on work first.
“You can’t play volleyball if your grades aren’t up to scratch,” Berry said. “I try to keep a healthy balance and make sure I do my job ahead of time.”
She would like to attend a Historically Black College & University (HBCU) – Langston University in Oklahoma or Prairie View A&M University near Houston where she plans to play college volleyball and study advertising and public relations .
Adley described his coaches as leaders.
“They are extremely effective in the sport and you learn from them. They just know how the game works,” Adley said. “I just focus on what I’m doing in training.”
Adley said the team and the crowd make volleyball fun and exciting. She balances schoolwork and volleyball through time management.
“I just do all my work in class and don’t have to worry about pending work while I’m in the field,” Adley said.
She also brings her leadership skills into the classroom.
“I just know when to be a leader on the court and off the court,” Adley said.
Adley would like to attend Clark Atlanta University or Texas Christian University. She plans to play volleyball and study biology.
Camper said she joined volleyball because she saw others playing it.
“I grew up watching my sister play this sport, I saw her play in high school and college,” Camper said. “I decided that I also wanted to play volleyball.”
The camper prepares for volleyball games by eliminating distractions.
“I just intend to play the game properly and do my part as a member of the team,” Camper said. “My coaches never let me play without my full potential.”
She reconciles school work and volleyball by prioritizing.
“I do all my work in class, just in case I’m busy,” Camper said.
She plans to attend an HBCU, either Florida A&M or Prairie View A&M, to study accounting or animal science and play NCAA Division I volleyball.