Over the net, or through the net? For Alexis Tomlin, it’s a question she hears rather routinely.
An avid basketball player since she her days as a youth, the Carolina Forest senior athlete has also developed quite the reputation on the volleyball court.
Admittedly, there may come a day soon that she will have to choose between them. As for right now? She’s savoring one final season to put her skills on display.
The 2017 volleyball season has already taken on added significance for Tomlin as the Panthers’ senior leader notched her 1,000th career kill in an Aug. 31 match against St. James.
“(Carolina Forest volleyball coach Brittany Drew) put me on the team as a seventh-grader, and I was young and inexperienced,” she said. “Toward the end of the season, I probably got a couple points worth of playing time. But it was really all part of the building process, and since then I’ve come so far.
“It’s all thanks to the chance she took on me. It means so much.”
It is the latest accomplishment in an already-decorated prep career as the two-sport star also also surpassed the 1,000-point mark in basketball in February.
“I’ve played basketball longer … I’ve been playing since I was 5 years old,” she said. “My dad used to teach me in the backyard. I picked up volleyball more recently, like maybe sixth grade or somewhere like that.
“I always have coaches from both sports ask me ‘which one do you want to play?’ I love playing both, I haven’t been able to choose.”
At least during volleyball season, Drew said she knows the opinion of her all-state performer — and Tomlin’s performance tends to back it up.
“She’s our go-to player, simply put. If we have a tough play, give it to Alexis,” the Carolina Forest volleyball coach said. “She likes to make things happen, she challenges herself even when she is serving. She is pretty much dead on.”
Fall sports notebook
Rain washed out much of the week in fall sports, but area teams still were able to get some work in.
Here’s a brief recap of the past week in prep sports:
Cross country: Continuing the momentum following a solid showing at the Eye Opener in Spartanburg, the Waccamaw cross country teams finished first place in a tri-meet featuring the Warriors, St. James and Socastee. In the meet, Waccamaw’s boys and girls squads each would up with 16 points.
St. James’ girls team placed second led by the running of Baylee Payne, Reagan Parr and Lori Nerdahl. Ryan Hughes was a bright spot for the Sharks’ boys team, placing fifth out of a field of 100 runners.
Green Sea Floyds’ Jackson Jeter and Kirsten Causey each led the boys and girls teams, respectively, to wins over Loris.
Girls golf: Another championship? The time will eventually come for that, but as of right now the St. James girls golf team appears to already be in peak form. Last week, the Sharks shot a 5-under 139 as a team to beat North Myrtle Beach by 64 strokes. Smith Knaffle led the way with a 4-under 32, while eighth-grader Adrian Anderson had a 3-under 33. North Myrtle Beach finished the day with a team result of 203. Brianna Joyner led the way for the Chiefs with a 42.
Carolina Forest and Socastee are also off to good starts to their respective golf seasons.
Led by junior Joey Kirkman’s 41 on the day, Socastee last week picked up a win over Socastee at Prestwick Country Club.
Seniors Lawson Devers and Alisa Berindea finished with a 44 and 46, respectively, for the Braves in a winning effort. Georgetown was led by Taylor Strickland and Karli Tompkins, each with a 53.
As for Carolina Forest, the Lady Panthers downed Conway by a score of 178-205. Seventh-grader Mia Gray led the way with a score of 39, with senior Sami Spencer right behind her with a 40.
Girls tennis: Socastee earned a win in its region opener against Sumter 7-0. Anna Brice Cox, Marie Benedetti, Joy Renfrow, Brooke Rogers and Nicole Mortel each scored singles wins, while Hannah Beam and Kyndal Hodge followed suit in doubles.
Late the previous week, Green Sea Floyds swept past North Myrtle Beach. Tamara Jackson, Chance Caulder, Emmy Kienast, Carlyse Major and Shayla Hardee each earned singles wins, while Jackson and Kienast won in doubles competition.
Swimming: The Myrtle Beach boys swim team placed first in a tri-meet last week with St. James and North Myrtle Beach. Ian Morgan placed first in both the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events, both qualifying him for the state swim meet. Ryan Eldred earned top honors in the 100-yard butterfly, in addition to the boys 200-yard medley relay team.
Volleyball: After a slow start, Carolina Forest made quick work of West Florence in its Region 6-5A opener, sweeping the Knights in three games (26-24, 25-17, 25-16). The win came a night after the Panthers earned a pair of victories in a tri-match with Aynor and North Myrtle Beach.
Alexis Tomlin finished with 16 kills and 13 digs, while Megan DeVaux had 10 kills, 17 digs and three aces of her own. Avery Campbell recorded 26 assists and eight service points.
Despite letting one slip away against Carolina Forest, the Chiefs earned a win earlier in the week against Socastee. Also picking up victories last week were Green Sea Floyds, Andrews and Conway.