Tearra Tatum (18-April) is making a big splash during her Senior Year!!!
September 17, 2015 - SUWANEE — At 5-foot-8, Peachtree Ridge senior Tearra Tatum lacks the traditional height that the majority of outside hitters posses.
Yet Tatum is one of the county’s best. Lions’ head coach Alexis White said that Tatum’s vertical leap, the highest on the team, is what allows her to be so good at the net.
White also said that Tatum has put in the work to be able to adjust her game to work with her natural athletic ability and not let her height be a hindrance.
“A lot of practice,” White said. “She does a lot of reps and she’s very open to trying new things, even if it’s not something that she’s necessarily comfortable with. She’s had to learn how to be a 5-foot-8 person against somebody who’s 6-foot-2. That has taught her how to change the way that she plays so that it’s not that she’s constantly hitting at someone who’s huge, she’s hitting around them.”
Those extra reps and hours on the practice court for Tatum haven’t gone unnoticed. Many of the other Lions have followed her lead and tried to replicate her work ethic.
Entering pool play today in the Gwinnett County Championships, Peachtree Ridge is 19-10 on the year.
“She’s a very talented player,” White said. “She works really hard on and off the court, so in school and in the clubs and organizations that she’s involved in. The good part about her is she’s an example for the other girls. They can see how hard that she works, so they want to work just as hard as she does, which is part of the reason why the team’s been so successful.”
Being a role model isn’t something that Tatum takes lightly. In fact it may be one of the senior’s favorite parts about being a team leader.
“I love the fact that freshmen and JV (players) come up to me and they say, ‘You’re amazing. I want to be a hitter just like you,’” she said. “Just the fact that you’re being looked up to and you’re held to a certain standard, it’s great.”
Tatum also sets a high standard in the stat sheet. Entering Tuesday’s three area matches, she had recorded 79 kills and had a hitting percentage of .291.
She’s also recorded nine blocks, 115 digs and nine aces. The Lions will face Providence, Mountain View and Central Gwinnett in pool play today. Tatum said as a senior she wants to make sure the team is ready for what she hopes will be a successful ending to a great high school carrer.
“Just working as hard as possible and making sure that I’m doing everything in my power — we’re trying to go to state — so just working hard in practice,” Tatum said of the goal for the rest of the season. “Just getting better as a team and as individuals.”
Tatum, who also plays club volleyball for GA5, will likely get the chance to continue playing in college. Right now she’s talked with coaches from West Georgia, Kennesaw State, UGA, Chaminade and Auburn-Montgomery.
She’ll visit Auburn-Montgomery this month and West Georgia in November before she makes her final decision. White looks forward to watching her star pupil continue to develop at the next level.
“It has truly been an experience to be able to work with her,” White said. “I have been able to see her grow as a young lady as well as a volleyball player. To see her go through the positive times as well as the negative times and how she comes out of it. It has been a blessing to just see her change into a young woman, and I’m very excited to see where she goes in the future.”