Natalie Tucker works hard all year to be a better volleyball player. She’s played the game on hardcourt, sand and grass against opponents who have challenged her along the way.
Mary Harriet Moore
Dekeiya Cohen, West Ashley Sr.
Mary Seibert, James Island Jr.
Marla Sagatelian, Porter-Gaud Jr.
Sawyer Swanson, Bishop England Sr.
Britney Vallez, Wando Sr.
Jamie Courtney, Hanahan Jr.
Dalya Amer, Ashley Hall; Sarah Santos, Bishop England; Emily Peters, First Baptist; Jessica Elizondo, Timberland; Megan Morris, Wando; Maggie Cochrane, Porter-Gaud; Samantha DeJong, Wando; Taylor Ravenell, Timberland; Shanya Lisbon, Cross; Kortnee Johno, Cross; Kimberlyn Stroud, Charleston Charter; Diemond Richardson, Goose Creek; Bel Thompson, Ashley Hall; Katelin Hills, Academic Magnet; Emma Blitch, First Baptist.
The Wando senior has good work ethic, athleticism and determination. The combination has helped her land top honors around the state and a little closer to home. Tucker, who helped the Warriors to a 48-6 record and a berth in the Class AAAA state championship, is The Post and Courier’s high school volleyball player of the year and heads up the 2013 All-Lowcountry team.
“I never get tired of playing,” Tucker said. “I go all year without stopping — Wando volleyball, club volleyball, then beach volleyball. I can honestly say I’m always sad when one season ends but so excited for the next one to start.”
Tucker, who was named the state’s Class AAAA player of the year by the South Carolina Coaches Association of Women’s Sports, enjoyed a big senior season. She recorded 129 kills, 125 spikes and 125 service points, including 35 service aces. She also had 51 blocks, 260 digs and 998 assists.
“What separates Natalie from the rest is her drive and determination in volleyball.” Wando coach Alexis Glover said. “She would play every day of the year, all day long or two times a day and doesn’t get tired. She will play anytime, anywhere. She has that love of the game.”
It was another banner year for high school volleyball in the Lowcountry.
Bishop England continued its remarkable success, winning its 14th consecutive state title and 24th overall, which is a national record. The Bishops’ Mary Harriet Moore, who was named the Class AA state player of the year by CAWS, is a first-team selection.
Porter-Gaud won its fourth straight SCISA Class AAA state championship. Gracie Mogul is a first-team selection while Megan Parkerson, who led the Cyclones to the state title in her first year, is the coach of the year.
The rest of the All-Lowcountry team includes Elisa Aldrich of Wando, Lauren Percy of Ashley Hall and McKala Rhodes of First Baptist.
Tucker, who is weighing her volleyball options at the college level, is more than just statistics. She has the right spirit and frame of mind.
“She is a team person,” Glover said. “She looks for the team to excel and that makes her happy. She doesn’t expect accolades and is surprised when she gets any award or recognition.”
The Warriors played in their sixth state championship in 18 years and were seeking to end a 20-year title drought. But they dropped a five-set match to Hillcrest in the state final.
“My senior year was everything I wished for and more,” Tucker said. “My goal was to win a Lower State championship and make it to state and we did.”