• 57°

Lady Cavs to build on last year

The Lakeland High School girls’ volleyball team is coming into the 2017 season wanting to be better than in 2016.

Last season, the Lady Cavs didn’t have as much success as they thought they could. This year, they are trying to change that. They are under new direction but with a familiar face in coach Jaclyn Smith, who assisted with the program for the past two seasons.

Smith is hoping her experience and familiarity with volleyball will help Lakeland’s continued growth of the program. Conditioning is a big part of Smith’s coaching style. Volleyball games involve five sets, so Smith believes her team needs to be well conditioned to excel in each set. She wants the same energy and focus in the last set as in the first.

“We have a lot of potential, but there is still progress to be made,” Smith said. “I want the girls to continue to elevate. I focus a lot on fundamentals and the technicalities with the girls, so they can do things the right way.”

Smith wants the Lady Cavs to learn the right things, because it prevents injuries. It also puts the Lady Cavs in the best position possible during game situations. Lakeland has started the season off with a 0-2 record. After one week of official performances, Smith is hoping to see more aggression from her team in the coming weeks.

Morgan Baines leads the way defensively for Lakeland. The Lady Cavs also get contributions from Alonna Moore and Bre Frazier. The Lady Cavs feel the more games they get under their belt, the more growth they will show. Volleyball in the Southeastern District is at a high level. There are many talented teams at the top of the district; the Lady Cavs just want to do the best they can game in and game out.

The goal for Lakeland this season is to have a better record than they had the previous season. However, Smith says if Lakeland doesn’t see as many wins as they’d like, the season still will be considered a strong one if the players each make individual improvements.

“If I can get them to be better students and people, then I’m satisfied with the job I’ve done,” Smith said.

Lakeland will face Grassfield High School on the road at 6 p.m. Tuesday.