While the Lakewood varsity volleyball team marches toward a state championship, the Leopard junior varsity can be satisfied with being No. 1 in the Tri-County Conference and ending the season with a perfect 14-0 record.
Sheila Davidson, head coach of both teams, said it was a combination of things that gave the younger team an edge and the perfect record.
“I think their winning season was due to team chemistry and them working hard as individuals. They improved weekly by scrimmaging against the varsity,” Davidson explained.
The team was consistent in their serves, according to Davidson, and usually only averaged missing three serves a game. “That’s a main indicator of how good a team is at the JV level. They were also really good at receiving the varsity serves when we scrimmaged. That told me they wouldn’t have a problem receiving at the junior varsity level,” she added.
The only weakness to speak of from this past season was their attack game. Davidson said they were good in the middle - volleying the ball - but weren’t able to put down the corner kill shot like the varsity has been so good at this season.
She said these six starters — Rashyda Parker, Kiara Rich, Anna Heinz, Emily Lewis, Allysa Horne, and Bianca Boone — will replace the eight seniors graduating from the varsity team this year. Three of those six sophomores already play on the varsity team, Anna, Kiara, and Rashyda.
Davidson said the last JV team she coached that ended with a perfect season was in 2008. “Usually the Leopard JV finish second in the conference,” she pointed out.
“I’m excited about this junior varsity team’s work ethic,” Davidson stated. “Even when we only had two games left in the season and they pretty much had first place wrapped up, they never let up, and practiced just as hard as they did during the first part of the season. They have that work ethic and wanted to be the best.”
Davidson added, “I’m proud I’ve got that caliber of females on a team that wanted to finish so well. I’m looking forward to next season with them.”