Athlete(s) of the Week: Hilton Head’s Mason, O’Grady form nearly unstoppable duo on the volleyball court

Sports

HILTON HEAD, S.c. (WSAV) – Over the last two seasons, the Hilton Head High School varsity volleyball team has played 23 region matches. They haven’t lost a single one.

“All the other teams are trying to beat us and practicing to beat us,” junior setter and captain Makenna Mason explained. “We just have to push, practice, and stay at the top.”

One of the big reasons the Seahawks have been able to stay at the top is because of Mason and fellow senior captain Ady O’Grady, who transferred from Hilton Head Christian before the 2020 season.

“We definetely are an unstoppable duo. We’ve been together since we were young, we’ve grown as players together and we’ve gone through a lot together,” O’Grady said. “We’ve gone through a lot of wins and losses together. We have that trust because we are friends on and off the court.”

O’Grady, a South Carolina Upstate commit, packs a punch as one of the best hitters in the state of South Carolina.

“Getting a kill, especially on a big play or rally, is the best feeling,” O’Grady, who leads the entire 4A classification with 240 kills, explained. “It definitely tops everything else.”

She’ll be the first to tell you, however, that a great hitter typically has a great setter right next to her dialling up the perfect pass.

“If I didn’t have a good setter, I wouldn’t have the amount of kills I have,” O’Grady added. “She’s like the quarterback — it’s all based off the setter.”

That’s where Mason comes in. While O’Grady tops the charts for her ability to earn kills, Mason leads the entire classification with over 700 assists and recently recorded her 2000th career assist.

“You feel appreciated by people who know volleyball,” Mason said. “Sometimes, you feel under-appreciated by the fans because they aren’t really looking for that. It’s awesome knowing you are the reason they got that hit or they got that point.”

In 2020, Hilton Head’s dynamic duo helped deliver the Seahawks its second volleyball state title in school history. This season, O’Grady’s last with the team before graduation, Hilton Head is ranked second in all of 4A and looks primed for another deep playoff run.

“I’m going to miss it, but [Makenna] is already one of the best players here,” O’Grady said. “I’m happy she gets to have one last year. I’m sad I’m not going to be here, but she will carry the torch one hundred percent.”

“I’m ready to carry the torch, but not ready to say goodbye,” Mason admitted. “The graduating class is like my best friends. I don’t know what I’m going to do without them.”

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