Lady Eagles seek back-to-back titles
Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014
By Kelsey Priddy
With the beginning of the new school year comes fall activities. The high school volleyball players earned the title of 3A state champions last year and are coming into this year ranked first in 3A.
The players have been working hard with rigorous two-a-day practices since Monday, Aug. 18.
Head coach Sarah Johnson explained how she has been preparing the team for this upcoming season.
“We started the season with two-a-day practices that will conclude this week. The coaching staff is setting high expectations for our athletes so that we are prepared to compete. We have been conditioning hard and setting our goals for the season. And with the assistance of the the upperclassmen's display of hard work and dedication, we are preparing for a successful season,” Johnson said.
This work they have put in will be displayed at the annual Maroon vs. Gold Scrimmage. This event will take place at the high school on Friday, Aug. 29 at 5 p.m. in the new gym.
Senior Outside Hitter Alyssa Schultejans is looking forward to their reappearance at sub-state and possibly another state championship.
“I’m most looking forward to sub-state and hopefully state because we have a lot of younger players and returning players that are already showing leadership and will have a big impact on our chances of winning back-to-back state championships,” Schultejans said.
The team ended last season with a league record of 10-0 and an overall record of 38-6.
Junior Lexie Gifford shared her personal goals for the season.
“My goals for this year for volleyball are to become a better communicator and learn new positions so I will be able to play some varsity at the end of the year,” Gifford explained.
Schultejans described why she thinks this year’s team is unique from previous years.
“I think what makes this team unique is our heart and desire to win. I think it makes us unique coming into this season because we know that being first in the state last year means we have targets on our backs, which gives us all the more motivation,” Schultejans shared.
The Lady Eagles kick off their season with a volleyball tournament at Jeff West on Saturday, Sept. 6. Coach Johnson shared who she thinks the team’s toughest competition will be.
“We face quite a few tough competitors throughout the season but some that I know we will have to be on our ‘A’ game for will be Shawnee Heights, Seaman, Hayden and Wamego,” Johnson said.
Gifford explained why she is looking forward to the season so much.
“I am excited to see what comes of the team, and how far the team goes. Plus since I haven't played volleyball since freshman year, I would love to see how much better I can get,” Gifford said.
Coach Johnson has specific goals set for this team to lead them to success.
“I want each and every one of the members of the SLVB team to feel like and know that they belong to the SLVB family and a special volleyball program that has a strong commitment to doing what is best for our team and school.
“I want to assist all of our athletes in growing as volleyball players and young women. And of course, winning league and getting back to Emporia to win a back-to-back state championship,” Johnson explained.