Sheila Roberts has an eye for elite talent.
The director/coach at the Tallahassee, FL based Pro Style Volleyball Academy is a 26-year veteran in the youth volleyball scene.
Most recently under Roberts’ guidance, the Sneads High School Lady Pirates captured four straight Class 1A FHSAA state titles, made nine consecutive trips to the FHSAA Regional Finals and taken home 10 district titles in a row.
The Lady Pirates haven’t been defeated in 1A since the classification was instituted four years ago and even more astounding is the fact they’ve only lost one set to 1A schools (Blountstown in 2012) during that span.
That’s why when Roberts says her PSVA 13 Black team is a viable contender to qualify for the 2017 USAV Junior Olympics in Minneapolis, MN (June 28th - July 1st), you have to respect her opinion.
PSVA 13 Black competes in the American Division of the USAV. They began their season in impressive fashion on Jan. 7 in a one-day tournament at Pro Style by going 2-1 in a pool of 16-year-olds. PSVA 13 Black defeated PSVA 16 Cottondale and PSVA 16 Sneads before losing to PSVA 14 Black.
On Jan. 21-22, PSVA 13 Black will head to Jacksonville, FL to participate in the Winter Blast Tournament.
The PSVA 13 Black squad consists of nine players from the loaded-with-talent Florida Panhandle area. Six players are from Tallahassee (libero/DS Ally Doughty, setter Sanaa Simmons, setter/outside hitter Amanda Ray, setter/right side hitter Brooke Lent, right side hitter Anna Curry, middle blocker Skyla Sotherland) while two are from Wakulla (right side hitter Macy Coddington, libero/DS Clara Alford) and one is from Sneads (libero/DS Lily Glover).
Roberts is already a big believer in her club due to their attention to detail and work ethic. Seven of the nine PSVA 13 Black players were with Roberts last season when they qualified for the AAU nationals.
The experience they acquired at nationals helped instill a successful mindset.
“This team is one of the hardest training teams I’ve coached,” Roberts said. “They’re very serious and very focused. That’s one reason why I love coaching them so much.”
The Pro Style Volleyball Academy, which was founded six years ago, strives to teach young volleyball players the necessary skills to succeed at the next level. The PSVA hosts many tournaments throughout the year as well as proving private lessons, camps and clinics.
“These kids are the future of our club. We just want to make sure they’re learning proper fundamentals and sound skills that are going to make them some of the elite players in the area,” Roberts said. “We just want to make sure we’re continuing to give our kids what they need to be the best they possible can be and get volleyball scholarships.”
Since 2013, 24 Pro Style players have landed scholarships. The most recent is Class of 2018 player Taylor Roberts, a Sneads native who is committed to Florida State.
Without discrediting any other team in the country, Roberts is confident her PSVA 13 Black team is championship-caliber and looks forward to seeing them prove it on the court this season.
“I honestly feel like they have a great chance of achieving that because of how hard they train,” Roberts said. “There’s a lot of great teams out there in the nation but based on what I’ve seen and how this team finished in the AAU last year I think they have great potential to qualify.”
Roberts’ thoughts on the roster:
Lily Glover: ‘’She made Team Florida’s Future Select Team last year and played libero for that team at the championship that was played in Fort Lauderdale. We were very proud of her to make that team at such an early age. Lily is already got her name out there as one of the top kids in her age in the state of Florida.”
Clara Alford: “She’s probably one of the smartest athletes I’ve ever coached. She takes instruction very well and is very coachable. She’s small but very athletic. I’m really excited about her future.”
Ally Doughty: “She’s actually a 12U player but she’s playing up. She’s one of our more advanced 12U players. Eventually she’ll be playing her age with her other girls but for right now we just felt like this would be a better placement for her.”
Sanaa Simmons: “She’s a pretty good setter. Very athletic and versatile. She’ll also be hitting on the outside for the team.”
Amanda Ray: “A very versatile player. She’s a great defensive player. She potentially could be a pretty strong libero in the future. We want to make sure she’s as versatile as can be.”
Brooke Lent: “She’s close to 6-feet tall and she’s a lefty. Very athletic kid. We’re so excited to have her. We started training her last year and we’re training her as a setter in addition a right side hitter. Being a lefty, being able to attack from the right side is an advantage for her and the team. It makes her even more lethal as a setter as well.”
Anna Curry and Skyla Sotherland: “We think they’re both going to continue to grow. They’re both pretty tall for their age. They’ll also be training in right side and outside”
Macy Coddington: “She’s come a long way since she’s been training at Pro Style. She’s a pretty big kid for her age. I think she’ll bring a lot of power.”
By Rolando Rosa
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