By Chris McCarthy/Editor
Molly Tucker is departing one winning volleyball program and joining another.
The Southside High School senior signed a volleyball scholarship with Wallace State-Hanceville on Dec. 12.
Tucker, who moved from middle blocker to outside hitter this past season, was the MVP of the Etowah County Tournament and was selected to the Class 5A, All-Area 13 Tournament team. She finished the season with 405 kills, 76 blocks, 44 digs and 83 aces. The Lady Panthers posted a 43-13 record, won the county and area tournaments and made it to the quarterfinals of North Super Regional Tournament.
“I started playing volleyball in seventh grade, and I just fell in love with the sport,” said Tucker, who plans on studying elementary education. “Whenever my senior season ended, I didn’t want it to be over, so it’s very exciting to play in college.
“I knew that Wallace had a good program and I really wanted to be a part of it.”
Tucker played with the Gadsden Volleyball Club and was a member of the Southside High basketball team until this year.
“I’ve got to coach Molly for two years, and she’s a phenomenal player and a phenomenal person,” said SHS volleyball coach Anna Johnson. “She loves the game of volleyball and works harder than anybody out there on the court, and she can play any position. Molly’s very popular and very smart, and she’s just an all-around good girl to be around.
“Wallace has a good one coming in next, and I’m looking forward to seeing her play next year. She’ll do very well at the junior college level, and if she works hard over the next two years, she can play at a D-I or D-II four-year school.”
Wallace last season posted a 30-17 record on the way to a fifth consecutive Alabama Community College Conference/Region 22 tournament championship and sixth ACCC regular-season championship. The Lady Lions made their fifth straight appearance at the NJCAA national tournament and 14th overall.
“When I met with Molly on campus, I was sold on her character and personality,” said Wallace-Hanceville volleyball coach Randy Daniel. “Those are important qualities that I look for in a player. She’s also a tough, physical kid who works hard.
“It’s hard to find kids who want to excel academically as well as athletically, so Molly will be a good fit for us. I expect her to step right in and contribute.”