Sports Feature

After a record-setting career as a four-year starter and setter for the Gainesville (Ga.) High School volleyball team, Savannah Roys is ready for the next chapter in her volleyball and educational career at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Ala.

Roys set the school record for assists in a career while at Gainesville High, and led the team to two area championships during her time playing for the Red Elephants. She also was named Area Player of the Year her senior season, and was named to the All-Area team all four years she played for Gainesville, three of those four being on the first team. Roys is also one of the first athletes from GHS to earn a full athletic scholarship for volleyball.

Going into her sophomore season, Roys had a unique situation with one of the coaches on staff. Her father, Randy Roys, was hired as a high school math teacher and an assistant volleyball coach by the Gainesville City School System. Though they faced their fair share of challenges, they managed to work through their differences to win two area championships during that time.

“It was difficult at times, but I think it helped a lot,” Savannah Roys said. “We knew each other well enough to know what the other one was thinking. Because we’re very like-minded, we understood each other very well.”

Coach Roys and Savannah butted heads at time when they shared the same court, but Coach Roys thinks they ultimately were able to set aside their differences to earn two sweet 16 appearances in the GHSA playoffs.

“We had to make a conscious and concerted effort to not let the two interfere with each other. We weren’t always successful, but for the most part we made it work,” Coach Roys said. “As the coach/dad, I felt I had the bigger responsibility, as the adult, to make sure that our on-court relationship did not interfere with our relationship as father and daughter.”

While Savannah believes that her career at Gainesville was a big step for her as a leader, club ball was where she really learned how to take her game to the next level. Roys has played for the GA5 Volleyball Club, based out of Suwanee, Ga., since she was 13 years old.

“Club ball is very demanding and requires a lot of leadership. You have to be very attentive and precise when you play on that level,” Roys said. “So when it came time for school ball, I could transfer those attributes I had learned during club season to help our school team on and off the court.”

Roys plays with several other college commits on her club team, including players committed to Flagler College, Tennessee Tech University and Georgia State University. The team that Roys plays for, GA5 18-1s, is headed to the national tournament in Anaheim, Ca. later this month, after winning two national qualifiers earlier this year.

After the national tournament, Roys’ high school and club career will be over, but she is excited to play for Katie O’Brien, the head volleyball coach at Montevallo, who also used to be the head volleyball coach at Piedmont College.

“Montevallo felt like home. The team environment and energy just suited me. The girls there are very similar to me, and it just felt like the right fit.”

 

 

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