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Coach Poyer has the Lady Blazers ready

Michael Wilson
Sports Editor
mhwilson@valdosta.edu

The Lady Blazers have entered the season on what could best be called a mission. With a 7-2 record to start the season, Head Coach Sia Poyer may have just figured out that special ingredients needed to propel this team past mediocrity. The team has not lost back-to-back games yet this season, which has been a kind of plague for the team in recent years.
 This Lady Blazers volleyball team, lead by stand outs Irene Hannan and Ruthie King, may have what it takes to really make an impact in conference play in the Gulf South Conference. These two players have combined for 204 kills and 150 digs in the first 9 matches of the season and have asserted themselves as stars on the team and the GSC, and if they keep it up and continue winning, the mention of their names could go national.
 The truth is that this is not that much of a surprise. Poyer has been building this team since he arrived, and like all successful coaches he has recruited across the spans of the volleyball world and found a way to bring the sport’s top talent to VSU.  He goes as far as Oregon and Colorado to find solid players, but he also keeps his focus on the volleyball pipelines that are Georgia and Florida.�
 Poyer’s resilience through recruiting should help him field a conference championship contending squad, and while I am not going to crown the Lady Blazers champs today, it would not surprise me if this is the year one of Poyer’s teams finds a way to truly compete for it.
 While a 7-2 record to start the season is a good launching point the Achilles heel of VSU is GSC play where the team has complied 7-5, 0-12, and 5-7 in consecutive years since 2006.  So the real test for this year’s Lady Blazers will start in a few weeks when they play GSC powerhouse West Georgia on Friday Sept. 25.
 The Lady Blazers have a great chance to make their mark on a league that typically doesn’t seem fazed by VSU.  With great young talent and the focus inherent of their dedicated and often stoic coach the Lady Blazers have all the elements needed, including that special ingredients, to accomplish that lofty and heralded goal of a conference championship, but this all might be a little premature. We will have to just watch and see, and hope that this year isn’t a disappointment.
 Michael Wilson is the Sports Editor of the Spectator and writes a weekly column on VSU sports, Open Mike. For comments, questions, or arguments contact him at mhwilson@valdosta.edu

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