Coons key to Warren County’s offense
FRONT ROYAL — Morgan Coons has a lot of options at her fingertips.
The junior setter is at the controls of Warren County’s high-powered volleyball offense. On any given play, Coons has three or four players she can go to for a hit.
“I’m kind of like the middle man,” Coons said. “And I have a big role to play because placement and being smart about it is huge for us, especially with these tougher games. It’s very crucial to be like tricky almost with how and where you place it, who you set it to. Some girls have an on night, some girls don’t. So you kind of have to pick that out and see what’s best for the team.”
The Wildcats have won 15 straight matches and host Park View-South Hill in the Class 3 state quarterfinals tonight at 5 p.m.
Warren County’s offense has been led all season by hitters Kaley Foulks, Britney Carter, Lauren Fox and Cor’Shauna Cunningham.
Coons, who has over 600 assists this season, said it helps a lot that she knows all of the hitters very well. She said she’s played with each of them for at least a few years and knows where to put the ball for each player.
Coons said it helps that none of the hitters are selfish and she can mix up who she wants to set it to.
“Britney (Carter) can do a really good swipe,” Coons said. “Lauren (Fox) is smart. And Kaley (Foulks) can just hit it. So it depends on what I’m looking for right then. If I know the tips are open I’m going to who can tip it that night. Sometimes a lot of teams will try and block Kaley. Like they will go straight at Kaley. And so all of our other hitters will be open. We just utilize whatever they give us.”
Last year Coons only played at setter for half of the rotation in the Wildcats’ 6-2 offense. This season Coons is Warren County’s only setter.
Warren County coach Dorinda Robinson said that Coons’ game awareness has improved since last season.
“She’s always known who she wanted to set it to, but sometimes that might not be the best person to set it to,” Robinson said. “It’s game awareness — where the ball should be put to give us the best chance to score.”
Foulks said that the Wildcats’ offense wouldn’t be the same without Coons.
“Morgan’s amazing. Morgan’s so consistent,” Foulks said. “She can get the ball there every time. She is the absolute key to our offense. And when she is not able to get a perfect pass she bump sets and it’s still the same.”
Coons, who also has nine blocks this season, said sometimes she is out of position and she’s learned how to bump set and still get the ball to the players for an attack.
Coons said she was a volleyball team manager in sixth grade along with Foulks. Coons said she and Foulks would hit with each other and she would set the ball for Foulks. Coons said after that she just stuck with being a setter throughout her volleyball career.
Robinson said that Coons is a quiet leader on the court, but during the match Coons is constantly talking with the players.
“Before the play starts you’ll see her talking to the hitters,” Robinson said. “Telling them we’re going to do this, were going to try this. You need to go there and I’ll do this. So they’re always talking to each other on the court.”
Coons said the team has a special bond with each other on and off the court and that has been a big key to their success.
“It’s kind of a close-knit family,” Coons said. “We don’t want the season to end. So as long as we can go we’re going to go.”