One gander at this year’s Volunteer Lady Falcons and it’s not difficult to decipher the roots of first-year head coach Tennille Cox Green.
The former Sullivan South all-stater played for TSSAA Hall-of-Famer Sherrie Hooks and is the fifth former Lady Rebel currently in the local coaching ranks joining Laura Cook (Science Hill), Tracy Graybeal (Sullivan East), Taylor Goines (Providence Academy) and Haley Price (Dobyns-Bennett).
“Coach Hooks is my role model to this day,” Green said. “If she walked in and said, ‘Give me ten,’ I’d say ‘Ten of what and then give her even more.’
The 1995 South graduate went on to play at East Tennessee State.
“I ended up being the player I was because of her,” continued Green. “I was the shortest hitter in Division I. But she had my back and I always believed in myself because of her. Without her, I wouldn’t have gone somewhere like ETSU to play volleyball.”
Green wants to instill that same confidence in her Lady Falcons. And while she’s new to the high school ranks, she’s not new to the local volleyball scene having coached middle school and high school travel ball for several years.
“I’ve had almost all of these girls since they were very young at different levels, so this is a special bunch to me,” continued Green. “They’ve been around me since elementary, middle school and now high school.”
The indoctrination to the Green style began with challenging summer workouts.
“The only thing they hadn’t seen from me before was conditioning in the summer,” noted Green. “But they have huge hearts and were all in.
“I am hoping all the extra conditioning and work they put in pays off when we have to go to the fifth set.”
Several current Lady Falcons were part of Volunteer’s state sectional team two years ago including 6-2 senior middle blocker Emily Hatley and senior setter Sydney Dobbs.
Opposite Hatley is senior Raenah Barton.
“Emily is very long and she can block,” said Green. “Raenah has improved 110% in a year’s time. She’s ready to break out.”
Sophomore Rylee Wines will also set with junior Delaney Price rotating in at right side. Senior Jersey Wines was an all-conference performer last season.
Green also expects Hope Bachman, who did not play school ball, but did play travel ball, to explode on the scene as well. Other candidates for playing time include sophomore Emma Green, junior Brooklyn Ward, junior Olivia Christian and senior Josie Stapleton.
“There are certain aspects to every girl, we just have to mesh,” noted Green. “The good thing is that they know my coaching style and they know I have very high expectations and I know that this bunch is about to open some eyes.”