North Lincoln’s Farris sparked Knights’ success
by Aaron Burns
Delainey Farris didn’t get a jump on her volleyball career like many standouts in the sport. But Farris was attracted to the game from the time she first got on a court in seventh grade, and she decided to stick with it from that moment.
The North Lincoln Knights have plenty of reason to be thankful for Farris’ decision to play volleyball. Farris, a senior, led a youthful North Lincoln team to the Class 2A state volleyball playoffs a year after helping the Knights capture the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A conference championship.
Farris’ exploits around the net as a senior also earned her the title of Denver Weekly 2011 Girls Volleyball Player of the Year.
While the Knights’ season ended sooner than Farris would have hoped—North Lincoln dropped a 3-2 decision to Burnsville Mountain Heritage in the playoffs—Farris said her final year in a Knights uniform was one to remember. Farris’ final contest saw her finish with three aces, 16 kills and four blocks. But it wasn’t the postseason that was the most fun to Farris. Instead, it was the road the Knights took to get there.
When North Lincoln opened its season with a 3-0 win over Bessemer City on Aug. 30, Farris said the groundwork was laid for a solid year. And with the inexperienced team looking for a leader, Farris proved to be exactly what the Knights needed.
“We lost a lot of players to graduation so I think being a senior I became one of the leaders,” Farris said. “And I play a lot more than a lot of players on the team, so I tried to help share my knowledge with my teammates to help them improve.”
For some, high school volleyball is a way to channel a competitive spirit in a fun atmosphere. But for Farris, the sport is a year-long project and a constant challenge to improve performance. In addition to the time Farris played for North Lincoln, she also played for Carolina Union, a national travel team. Spending an entire year practicing the same sport never got old for Farris. Instead, every practice and game brought something new to the fold – some new idea on how to attack an opponent, or just valuable on-court experience.
“I was also going to clinics and camps, and having private lessons with coaches,” Farris said.
Farris plans to play college volleyball once she decides on a school. And if she gets that chance, Farris will already have some seasoning against some of the nation’s best players.
“We went to nationals (with Carolina Union) and placed 11th,” Farris said. “It was a big experience for me because I got to see the people I’d play against if I play in college.”
And if not, Farris added that her last season at North Lincoln was certainly one worth all the training and devotion.
“We had a good year overall,” Farris said. “I think we did better than any of us expected. “We had no idea how things would turn out, but I think they turned out well.”