Big Lake Athlete of the Week: Joy Whipple

Okeechobee freshman Joy Whipple serves in the Lady Brahmans’ game against Lincoln Park Academy on Aug. 23. Whipple had six aces in the match.

OKEECHOBEE – Okeechobee freshman Joy Whipple is this week’s Big Lake Athlete of the Week for her performance in the Lady Brahmans varsity volleyball game against Lincoln Park Academy on Aug. 23.

Whipple had 13 kills and six serving aces against Lincoln Park Academy. The Lady Brahmans won the game in four sets. She has 14 kills, nine serving aces and four digs over the first two games Okeechobee has played so far this season.

Joy gives credit to the Lady Brahman defense for her success against Lincoln Park.

“Our defense was very impressive,” said Whipple. “Those girls did an incredible job getting the ball to our setters, so we could be aggressive with our hitting. Our setters worked very hard to fake out the opposing blockers while still having beautiful sets. Our hitting was aggressive and smart. Finding holes in the court, watching the blockers’ moves, and all in all putting the ball on the floor in hopes of no return. We worked together as a team, and by the end of this season, we will be a force to be reckoned with.”

Lady Brahmans coach Taylor Padrick says that Joy’s decisiveness on the court is one of her strengths.

“When she attacks the ball, she takes into account the other side,” explained Padrick. “She watches the defense and makes a decision based on her best chance to get the point. Whether going line, cross court, or tipping, she really thinks quickly and usually makes a great decision.”
Whipple played volleyball at Osceola Middle School and played for the Chobee Volleyball Academy team, which took home gold medals at both the Gasparilla Volleyball Kickoff and at the 2018 Super Regional Volleyball Tournament in the beginning of 2018.

As a freshman, this is her first year playing varsity volleyball at the high school level.

“So far the transition to high school volleyball has been exciting,” Whipple said. “Knowing that I’m going up against seniors and girls that already have been signed to college is a little nerve-wracking. A lot of these other teams have girls that I have never seen before, but it’s good to see new girls with different abilities. It keeps the game interesting.”

To nominate an athlete for Big Lake Athlete of the Week, email Okeechobee News sports reporter Richard Marion at rmarion@newszap.com.

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