PSN Spotlight - Midtown Knights Volleyball New Mindset Has Team Off To Good Start
The Midtown Knights volleyball team has gotten off to a good start for the 2021 season. Heading into Tuesday’s match, the Knights are 5-2 and winners of three straight wins. When speaking with Midtown head coach, Sandi Stein, who enters into her second season as head coach, she says veteran leadership is among one of the many things that have helped with Knights getting off to a good start. “We have three great seniors in Jade Lewis, Annie Laster and Kennedy Johnson and they have been key in helping us getting the season going and just really focusing on fundamentals,” Stein said.
Another factor for the Knights has been the closeness they developed last season after having to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on their season Stein says. “COVID did a lot of things for everyone, but it actually brought us a little closer and so this season, it’s been an excitement of playing in front of friends and family,” Coach Stein said. Last season, the Atlanta Public Schools system, which Midtown is a member of, did not allow any fans into competitions for most of the 2020-2021. Stein added that returning to action in front of fans has the girls “bring more hype, they’re getting more people to come out and they want to look good in front of friends.”
With the combination of focus and closeness, the Knights now look to get over the hump of getting past the first round of the state playoffs, where they have been eliminated the past couple of seasons. Coach Stein says to make that happen, changing up a few things like playing in tournaments that feature other GHSA 5A teams and just tougher competition overall early on will be key for them. “Playing in tournaments like we just played in, gives us a chance to see what else is out there and what we need to be ready for, that was key,” Stein said, adding that before the team mindset seemed to be about just making it to the playoffs and now the girls are looking to “make it all the way and win it all.”