Nov. 24—ALEXANDRIA — Alexandria’s volleyball team needed someone to step up in leadership and net presence when Lexi Weber graduated.
For doing it as well as she did and helping to keep Alexandria on the mountaintop in Calhoun County, Kailey Dickerson is The Anniston Star’s Class 4A-6A Calhoun County player of the year.
The junior outside hitter finished with 601 kills, 195 digs and 91 aces.
Alexandria finished 41-13, winning the Class 5A, Area 12 title. The Valley Cubs won the county tournament for the second year in a row and fourth time in six years.
Alexandria won its North Regional opener against Madison Academy but lost to Arab in the second round.
This after losing a senior class that included Weber, a 6-foot-1 middle hitter, 2021 all-county 4A-6A player of the year, Alabama North All-Star and Wallace State Community College signee.
Dickerson has moved on to basketball season at Alexandria and travel volleyball with Champions Sports Academy. She took a few minutes to participate in The Star’s player-of-the-year Q&A:
Question: Now that you’ve had time to reflect on the season, what to make of what the Valley Cubs accomplished?
Answer: I’m really proud of us for winning area and county. I wish we could’ve won regionals, of course, and state. It didn’t turn out how we wanted it to, but I’m proud of how we finished in our area and county.
Q: What about your season, individually?
A: I definitely got better at being able to lead my team and doing better through adversity. We had a lot of adversity this season, and I feel like I did better at, like, helping my team pull out of that. I still feel like I could’ve done better on the court, but overall, as a leader, I think I definitely improved this year.
Q: What adversity did you guys face this year?
A: We weren’t very tall this year. We had a few people who were tall, but we faced a lot of tall people. We sort of struggled with that, so we learned, defensively, how to stop it, tap those balls up, and I’m proud of us for being able to turn other peoples’ good things into our better things, if that makes sense.
Q: How did Lexi graduating expand your role on the team?
A: She was one of our biggest middles, and she was definitely a leader on our team. It was a struggle for us, but we stepped into it with two really great middles, and I just knew this year that I was going to have to step it up and take a step into her shoes and kind of fill what she left.
Q: What does your offseason look like, in terms of working on your game?
A: I’m playing travel ball right now, and I’m hoping to better myself and work on things that I wasn’t good at this year and improve and become more consistent. During the summer, I’m going to go to multiple camps and do summer workouts and improve my skills a lot during the summer. That’s a big time, and the Springtime is a big time.
Sports Writer Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter: @jmedley_star.