Glynn Academy’s volleyball team has something special with this 2019 team as we reach the midway point of the season. The Lady Terrors are currently 20-3 overall and 7-0 in region play after taking home second place from the River City Classic in Jacksonville this past weekend.
According to Max Preps, this team ranks as the No. 26 in the state of Georgia and winning second-place is a good sign for what’s coming.
“This team pretty much play year-round,” said Glynn Academy volleyball coach Staci Hunt. “They’re all outstanding students, and I tell them it’s student-athlete, not athlete-student. So as a student they’re all in college courses at Coastal Georgia or taking advance placement honors courses at Glynn Academy. To have a team that’s both well versed on the court and in the classroom is incredible.”
This past weekend at the River City Classic put on by the Jacksonville Junior Volleyball Association, Glynn Academy was able to go deep into the tournament. They faced off with teams from Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama and to finish in second place.
Friday’s matches were best-of-three pool play for placement on Saturday. The teams faced off on about 12 different courts in their respective divisions and played for placement on Saturday. Glynn defeated Trinity Christian Academy 2-1 (25-22, 22-25, 15-9) in its first match before the Lady Terrors swept their second opponent P.K. Yonge 2-0 (27-25, 25-16).
Senior leader, Savannah Serafini had three big blocks that game and 14 attacks at the net. Eight of her attacks were for points.
She and Mary Elizabeth Altman led the way for the team as Altman was a defensive mastermind.
However, on Saturday, Glynn Academy went without two of its seniors, and so they struggled to stay as dominant.
Even without those two seniors, the Lady Terrors only fell to one team, and that was Thompson, a 7A squad from Alabama. Thompson’s head coach Judy Green, who was the former head coach for Alabama, so it was top-level competition.
Glynn Academy fell to Thompson 0-2 (18-25, 22-25) in the first match on Saturday morning. This loss pushed them to be the No. 2 seed and face-off with the next divisions’ top-seeded squad.
Glynn took on Northside Christian from St. Petersburg, Fla., and swept them 2-0 (25-16, 25-17). Serafini and fellow senior Maycn Nassar were tremendous from the serving line as Serafini had six serves in a row and Nassar had nine.
Hunt said with those two seniors out, she had to move some folks around and pulled in freshman Karley Neundorfer to play.
“We won the game that the one freshmen I took played in, and that’s a big deal,” Hunt said. “It’s kind of neat to take a freshman and throw her in on the right side. She had zero errors, and it was incredible for her to go out there and help us win.”
Serafini wasn’t at her usual place on the court because Skylar Perez, the senior libero was absent. So while Serafini wasn’t necessarily doing what she usually does at the net, she was able to contribute in another way.
“I took Savannah out of her black uniform and into a grey uniform to play libero,” Hunt said. “So on Saturday, that’s why I put the freshman in and brought in Kelsey Cabiness and Lily Hidalgo to be hitters and pulled Savannah back to be a libero. That means I don’t have her blocking and hitting at the net, but I had her as a passer all day long, and she was setting them up. I can put her in any position, and she trusts me and goes with it.
After that, the Lady Terrors had a rematch with Thompson for the title game and got swept again by the Warriors 2-0 (12-25, 25-21).
Even though Glynn took home second-place, this group has the tangibles to get over the hump that’s been looming around them. This squad, according to Hunt, is stacked with six seniors, six juniors and one sophomore.
The lone sophomore that contributes is Montana Jackson, and she’s a defensive mastermind and always puts a wall up for the Lady Terrors at the net.
However, its no surprise that Serafini is the one Hunt trusts the most on the court. She is the leader and the one who is the on-court leader and will do anything asked of her.
“When the plays up and the set goes up, Savannah’s there to call whether to tip, hit line, or hit crosscourt. Typically it’s the libero’s position, but our libero is really quiet and gets really focused into the game,” Hunt said. “She’s been playing since she was in fifth grade, has been on the varsity team since she was a freshman and Savannah knows volleyball. I mean she just made the number one 18 and under national team. She’s an incredible volleyball player and flies when she hits the ball.”
Serafini’s counterpart is junior Lily Hidalgo, who like the senior, often gets recognized for her ability on the court. What makes Hidalgo unique is her attack at the net and how she attacks the ball.
“She looks like she’s shooting a bow and arrow,” Hunt said. “So it looks like she fully loads up before she hits it. The only thing is that she lands on one foot.”
Hunt likes what Hidalgo and Serafini bring to the court.
“Lily literally flies through the air, but she can place those hits, and Savannah will tell her where to go, and it’s neat to see them work as a team.”
The Red Terrors next match will be senior night against St. Vincent and Savannah Country Day as they play in a tri-match today. Glynn’s JV squad plays at 4:30, then the seniors will be honored between matches before they play. Hunt said that anyone with a student ID could get in for free and encourages the community to come out and watch this special team.
Even though they fell to Thompson this past weekend, this team can do great things, and Hunt knows it.
“Their final record last year was 26-21, and I think they can continue winning and go far,” Hunt said. “I know they’ve always gotten knocked out at the Elite Eight, and my goal is to take them all the way this year. I feel like we have a team that can do it.”