For the third straight season, the Mosley Lady Dolphin volleyball team finds themselves in familiar territory: the Regional Semi-Finals. The Lady Dolphins have never advanced past a Sweet Sixteen, but this year, Deanna Canfield looks to help lead her team where no Mosley team has advanced before.
On Tuesday night at the Jim Redfern Gymnasium, the Lady Dolphins will look to capture their first Sweet Sixteen win in the history of Mosley Volleyball. One of reasons behind Mosley's success this season, is do it all Deanna.
"Deanna's a go-to player, we call it a gamer," says head coach Steve Canfield. "Someone that you know you can go to when the games on the line. I think the more pressure, the better she plays. She's a rare athlete."
A rare athlete that's contributed 355 kills and 116 ace's this season, with 1,078 kills and 400 ace's in her career as a Lady Dolphin- all school records. In the classroom, she's not to shabby either, boasting a 3.3 GPA, but she says getting the grades wasn't always as easy as serving up an ace.
"Any athlete that wants to play next level sports you have to have the grades for it too, that's the most important thing," says Deanna. "You could be the best player in the world, and if you don't have the grades, it can't take you anywhere."
"Last year she got her first academic letter, and that improvement she's made in the classroom, to me, far is more valuable then any accolade she has on the sports venue," says Coach Canfield.
Coach Canfield has room to be proud- not only as Deanna's coach, but as her father, and with the father-daughter duo helping lead the Dolphins to their first district championship under Canfield's tenure, Deanna says it's been great experiencing this season with her Dad.
"I mean, I'm sitting here crying thinking about it. It was amazing," says Deanna. "The feeling of winning a district Championship with this team, and with my dad just being there."
What will be even more exciting for Deanna, her dad, and the Lady Dolphins would be a win on Tuesday to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history.
"We've tied the school record for wins, at 25 wins. One more win gets us in the Final Eight," says Coach Canfield."
"All the work that we've put in practicing, sharing that with him would be really a great achievement," says Deanna.
Deanna and the Lady Dolphins will try and reach that achievement Tuesday at 7:00 at Mosley. Now after high school, Deanna will take her volleyball talents to South Alabama, where she'll study Elementary Education.