Caitlin Dorsch, Copy Desk Chief~
The Old Dominion Athletic Conference coaches released their annual preseason poll on August 15, 2018, with the University of Lynchburg Women’s Volleyball team obtaining a rank of fifth-place, just 39 points behind number one ranked Washington and Lee University. They were one of only five teams in the conference to reach the 100-point milestone.
Having brought back most of the squad and by adding six freshmen to the mix, the UofL team seems ready to prove their critics wrong. Libero/Defensive Specialist Lauren Stanford (Jr.) says, “Our freshmen definitely came in prepared and our looking good. [This is helping our whole team to be] a lot more intense in the gym, and we have a lot more energy.”
After losing against last season’s ODAC Champions, Randolph-Macon College, in the conference semifinal match in November 2017, the UofL players definitely feel that they should have been ranked higher than fifth in the poll. Outside/Right Side Hitter Sydney Jamison (Sr.) said, “We’re passionate in everything we do. Through the ups and downs, we never lose our passion for the game of volleyball and that leads us through the hard times and drives our success through the good times.”
The UofL players believe that their strong team culture will help propel them further in the ODAC standings and make them a huge threat on the court. This year, the team has worked hard to change the culture of the team. Stanford said, “We have practice every day and, in preseason, we had two practices every day and, then, lifting. We do a lot of goal setting. Every day before practice, we set a team goal and an individual goal. After practice we have to reflect on them.”
“I wasn’t too happy about [being ranked fifth in the poll], but it’s always good to be an underdog and prove people wrong,” insists Stanford.
The UofL Lady Hornets began their quest last Friday, August 31, 2018, at the Route 42 Classic at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA. Although they lost both matches on Friday, the Hornets were able to get their first win of the season by defeating NC Wesleyan by a score of 3 to 1 the next day. Their next match is Wednesday, September 5, 2018, at home against Averett University at 7pm. Be sure to swing by Wayne Proffitt Court in the Turner Gymnasium to cheer on your Hornet Volleyball team!