MURRAY — Even with a loss of eight seniors, head coach of the Lady Laker Volleyball team Lindsey Jones is confident in what her team will be able to accomplish this season.
Star players Ellie Jackson, Adison Hicks and Maggie Fraher will be returning, and Jones is excited to see what they bring to the court.
Assistant coach Melisa Hicks said, “Ellie Jackson was kind of hurt last year. Her shoulder was hurt, so if she stays uninjured and strong, it’s going to be good to see her.”
Injuries were a huge problem for the Lady Lakers last season, but the team will be getting some of those injured players back this year.
“Somebody that didn’t play last year and is playing this year is Kylie (Stalling). She was hurt last year, and she’s doing great,” Jones said.
Along with returning players, the Lady Lakers have added quite a few new faces to the team.
“I’m just excited that we have so many freshmen,” Melissa Hicks said.
Jones is especially thrilled about newcomers Gracie Adams and Carson McReynolds.
“The team this year, we’re a lot more light-hearted,” Jackson said. “We have better chemistry, and I feel like the season will just be more fun and happy.”
Jones is equally as impressed with the team’s chemistry.
“These guys have great attitudes, and they’re working well together,” she said. “We have some
really great setters this year, and we’re doing
well setting up the ball to our hitters.”
Jackson is impressed with the amount of strength her teammates possess.
“We have some really strong hitters like Kylie Stallings,” she said. “She’s here now, and she’s one of the strongest people I think I’ve ever met and Adison Hicks. She’s extremely strong. It’s just a good team to play with.”
Jackson added that her team does need to work on arm control and court awareness. Jones would like to see the team improve their ability to move their feet to the ball and improve their communication. The team is attacking these issues in their practices.
“We’re tossing the ball, and they’re running to the ball, moving their feet. We’re working on arm swings and stuff like that,” Jones said.
Working hard in practice will ensure the Lady Laker’s ability to achieve their season goals: having a winning record, staying consistent throughout the year, minimizing miss serves and having more aggressive hitters. One of the biggest goals is to refrain from getting any more injuries. The team has already lost a player this season.
“Makinlee Watters was injured last year, got her ACL fixed, and, then, it tore again, so she has to have another surgery,” Jones said. “It would have been great to have her this year. It’s just sad that we can’t add somebody else.”
Nonetheless, the team is still eager to get on the court. There are some games in particular that the team is especially looking forward to.
“Murray. Hands down. I’m so excited for Mur
ray,” Jackson said.
The Lady Lakers will verse the Lady Tigers at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 5 at Calloway.
“They’re a good match, so I think that it’s a great game, and a lot of people come out to it, so of course we’re excited about that,” Jones said. “That’s our most attracted game.”
Jackson is also looking forward to playing Christian Fellowship in remembrance of Kenzie Murdock, her teammate that recently passed away from cancer.
“I’m excited for CFS because Kenzie went there, and I love Kenzie,” Jackson said. “We all love Kenzie, and it’s just going to be exciting to play them, to have a little bit of her.”
And of course, the team is excited to play their first game at 6 p.m. Aug. 20 against Livingston Central at home.
“We need to defend our gymnasium the way that we feel like it should be,” Jackson said. “I want other teams to be afraid of me, to be afraid of us, to have that little edge.”
Jones and Jackson have a high-level of confidence in this year’s team.
“We’re going to do well,” Jones said. “We’re excited about this year. Even from last year, I think we’ve progressed. We have a great team this year. We have great kids this year. I think this year, so far, has been so much smoother. The girls are already at a level that we weren’t at last year going into our first game. Last year, we had a lot of teaching to do because I was a new coach, my methods. These girls know more then they did last year.”