The Louisa Lions are returning to the court in preparation for the 2019 volleyball season. The Lions return four players from last year’s squad and boast a large crop of first-time varsity players.
“They’re young and hungry,” Lions’ Head Coach Rachel Green said. “They want to be successful. They want to work hard. This is one of the hardest-working groups I’ve had.”
Leading the team this year is senior Olivia Grubbs who takes the court for her fourth season with the varsity team.
“I’m hoping to be a good leader,” Grubbs said of her senior season. “I’ve always been motivated by the older kids on the team, and this year I finally get a chance to be a positive influence and role model.”
Also returning to the team are sophomores Emma McGehee, Maddox Pleasants and Kylie Robinson, all of whom saw playing time on the varsity team last season.
“It feels great [to be back out here],” Robinson said. “We’re starting up nicely from last season and picking up really great from where we started.”
The remaining five players on the nine-person squad are all new to the varsity program, but have been putting in work during the off-season to get ready for this year. Green said she is particularly excited with the team’s two new setters, sophomore Madison Middlesworth and freshman Jordan Atwell-Purcell.
“I’m excited to see them grow,” Green said.
Rounding out the team are juniors Hannah May and Brady Shifflett and sophomore Abigail VanPelt.
The Lions play their first scrimmage at home against Highland Springs on Aug. 15 and officially begin their season on Aug. 27 with a home game against Spotsylvania High School.
“We always have some really tough district competition,” Green said. “We’ll see how they respond to it. That’s the exciting part, to see, when we get into tough situations in games, how they react.”
Grubbs, for her part, is confident of the team’s abilities this season.
“This season is definitely a season where we’re going to see a lot of growth because we’re a young team,” Grubbs said. “We’re going to see a lot of effort put forth and [we’re] going to get some wins that you’re not going to see coming, but it’s going to be because of the hard work we put forth and because of the dedication that all the ladies have on this team.”