0906 Greenwood volleyball

Greenwood High School’s varsity volleyball team is led by first-year head coach Carrie Turner.

Greenwood senior Courtney Robertson is looking forward to a fresh start this year.

Robertson is one of four seniors for the Eagles, and 10 juniors make up the rest of the team. The Eagles have a new coach this season in Carrie Turner, and look to grow closer and improve on the court.

“For me it’s really good,” Robertson said. “I like having a fresh start. We’re ready to have a good season. I’m looking not just for wins on the scoreboard. I’m looking for wins on the team.”

Turner arrives to Greenwood from Anderson. She’s coached junior varsity and middle school volleyball, and is taking her first varsity coaching position.

A lot is changing for Turner, too. Her husband is currently deployed in the US Army National Guard, and she’s making the move to Greenwood from Anderson’s District 5.

“He’s coming back in October, so I needed to get back to somewhere where I could be teaching,” Turner said. “And this is where I landed: in Greenwood. And I actually landed doing volleyball, too, because I had the experience.”

Greenwood started the season with a four-set win against Strom Thurmond, but fell in three straight games afterward. Last season, the Eagles only won one game.

Turner said she’s seen much better potential from the team since she became the coach.

“What kills me, though, is ... they have so much potential,” Turner said. “They’ve got so much potential; their skills are there. They’ve just got to get the mindset and they’ve got to work toward it. And there are so many things coming together, because this is a team sport.”

On the wall in the new gym at Greenwood High, where the volleyball team practices, is a large banner that reads ‘No Excuses.’

“I love the saying here at Greenwood: No excuses,” Turner said. “So if we just push through and work together, we’ll be fine.

“They’re a good group. They’re a good group of girls, and they have a lot of potential and they’re great with their skills. And I keep telling them every day, ‘I believe in you. But do you believe in you?’ And they need to believe in themselves.”

Robertson hopes the team can come together and make progress during her senior year.

“I think at first everybody was kind of timid and they didn’t know what to expect,” Robertson said. “But now, we’re just like one big family. We’re trying to connect and play under her.”

Greenwood has an experienced team, and Turner said she needs each player to step up as a leader.

“To me, I need everybody there,” Turner said. “I need everything leading, you know, and putting their same effort in because I want everybody to feel important.”

On top of a fresh start, Robertson said, is a new opportunity to prove herself. She said Turner came in with everyone on a clean slate.

“It’s been really different, but just going into it, it was just a clear start,” Robertson said. “You had to prove yourself again. Everybody had to earn their position this year; it wasn’t just given.”