It’s a new athletics year and with it brings a new athletic coordinator, a new level of excitement and even a new logo for Lehman High in 2017.
With seven returning players to the roster, however, the look of the Lehman Lobo volleyball team hasn’t experienced the same level of change, said head coach Kathryn Legh-Page.
Instead, Legh-Page believes a focused work ethic is the key for Lehman to compete in a vaunted 25-6A district this fall.
“These kids are great, they give their all day in and day out,” Legh-Page said. “The kids here work hard. It’s fun to see the kids play and have so much heart.”
Legh-Page said the improved work ethic came as a result of the team’s experiences in district play last season. She said the take-away was understanding how much work her players had to put in the offseason.
“We got after it this offseason and they got after it this summer,” Legh-Page said. “They saw the level of competition and we can compete at it. They made sure to put the work in to do that.”
Guiding the Lobos will be an experience-laden roster led by senior hitters Sarah O’Neal, Kaytlin Mendoza and Hannah Starnes.
Legh-Page said Mendoza worked hard during the offseason and improved her arm swing.
O’Neal, who was one of the key offensive components last season, returns her leadership qualities, as well as her height, Legh-Page said. Standing at 5-feet, 11-inches, O’Neal is one of the taller players on the Lobo roster.
Behind them are junior hitters Madison Webb and Madelyn Bowen.
On the back row, junior defensive specialists Seryna Avalos and Mariah Pastrano return for the Lobos.
Lehman will put its skills to the test against a handful of district opponents that will have a size advantage.
Speed and serving will be the two components that could not only bypass a height disadvantage, but lead the Lobos to success.
Familiarity also will play a role for the Lobos to be successful. That familiarity, primarily with the coaching staff, goes beyond the starting six on the court.
Legh-Page said the program’s incoming freshman are “ready to go” as middle school coaches are improving skills across the board.
“Since they’re coming with more knowledge, we can build off of the foundation from our middle school coaches,” Legh-Page said.
As the Lobos navigate through a handful of pre-district season tournaments, building team chemistry, as well as ironing out the kinks, will be the focus.
“We’re on the road a lot for tournaments, so we want to be as successful as possible,” Legh-Page said.
Lehman opens its home schedule against Akins on Aug. 22
The Lobos travel to Leander to begin district play Sept. 8.