SportsStudent Athlete of the Week


Esprit Decor Student-Athlete of the Week: Grafton Volleyball

Grafton Volleyball
Posted at 5:12 PM, Oct 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-21 20:44:22-04

YORKTOWN, Va. - Volleyball at Grafton High School is more than a game. It's an event with a packed gym of screaming fans cheering on the Clippers to victory.

"It's crazy," exclaimed junior outside hitter Alexis Keeter. "It hasn't been like this in the past couple of years since COVID and it's just so amazing having this atmosphere back. It gets everybody hyped up and it really just messes up the opponents."

"When the girls start getting that spark and that momentum, that crowd energy, I think it helps us a lot and it's got to get in the other team's head," added head coach David Keeter.

The fans at Grafton have had a lot to cheer about in recent years as the Clippers have dominated the local volleyball scene. They're 21-2 on the season as the playoffs approach and unbeaten in Bay Rivers District play. The team has set the standard in Hampton Roads and is everybody's top target every time it takes the floor.

"We talk about it all the time that we're the asterisk on everyone's schedule," Coach Keeter pointed out. "Whenever we go to play in someone's gym, they are going to play their best game against us."

"We've been undefeated for the past year," added Alexis. "It's a lot of pressure, but I just try to stay really timid and content."

The key to the Clippers' success is the culture that's been created in the program. The players are more than just teammates, considering themselves more like family.

"We've all be playing together since middle school volleyball," Alexis noted. "We've always been friends around club volleyball so I think that really helps."

"We've learned to work together and communicate and it's not just a volleyball game," added senior setter Alondra Miranda-Pagan. "It's more about family than your teammates."

The Clippers have established themselves as an area powerhouse and are working hard to take their brand statewide. Grafton is coming off five consecutive state runner-up showings, so players, coaches and fans hope that 2022 can be the year the squad can get over that hump and claim the state championship.

"It definitely makes you want to fight even harder for it and work for it," Miranda-Pagan said. "You can't slow down your game."

"We talk about it all the time," Keeter said. "We point at the wall over here and say the wall is still missing one banner and that's that state championship and that's what we're going to shoot for."

Grafton won its final regular season match on Thursday night, topping cross-town rival York, 3-0.

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