The Lansing Lions volleyball team has already had a strong start to the season.
With victories over the second-, fourth- and seventh-ranked teams in 5A, the hard work from the summer has paid off for the Lions.
The team competed in three team camps during the summer and won two of them. In a previous interview with head coach Julie Slater, she said that this team has some of the most depth she has ever coached. She still thinks that it is one of the biggest strengths of the team.
Another key to the team will be the senior class.
“The senior class has been showing great senior leadership,” Slater said, “which is key to any great team.”
The seniors along with other returning players from last season including Amelia Van Der Werff and Jill Carlson give the Lions varsity experience to succeed in 2018. The return of Mckinzie Weaver from an ACL injury a year ago will also help the Lions.
Other players to watch are Sam Moburg and Sydney Hayles.
“Sam Moburg is looking great on the outside and we look for big things from her this season,” Slater said. “Also senior transfer Sydney Hayles will provide more depth hitting and blocking.”
Freshmen Kamryn Farris and Caitlin Bishop also received praise from Slater as players who stood out in the early season.
The Lions kicked off the season at the Spectrum Sports Volleyball Slam against St. Thomas Aquinas, which was a big win for the team as the Lions had not beaten St. Thomas in decades.
“The last time Lansing had beaten Aquinas was 1988 at 4A substate in a two and a half hour barn burner to advance to the 4A state tourney where we finished second at state that year,” Slater said. “Cheryl Jamerson Farris was a senior on that team and now she has a senior Kennedy Farris and freshman Kamryn Farris on the team. We struggled a bit passing the first set which is not uncommon for the first match of the year. Halfway through set two, we started playing better. Aquinas has a great team and beat us in semifinals at state last year. So we had motivation pushing us. Our crowd was awesome and that always helps too.”
The Lions followed up the thrilling victory a few days later with wins over De Soto and Basehor-Linwood, two more ranked teams, to start the season strong at 3-0. With the depth and experience, the third ranked Lions look to continue their early season success as the season continues to move along.