LCC volleyball players honored on Sophomore Night

LCC volleyball players honored on Sophomore Night

Lenoir Community College had Sophomore Night Wednesday in the regular-season finale to honor five players in their final home game with the Lancers. The players are, from left, Katie Houston, Lynn Marie Grady, Laura Jenkins, Jennifer Sparks and Reagan Avery. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News

For a quintet of LCC players, Wednesday was their last game on Bobby Dawson Court.

The Lancers celebrated Sophomore Night to honor the careers of Reagan Avery, Lynn Marie Grady, Katie Houston, Laura Jenkins and Jennifer Sparks. Although Wednesday’s opponent, Cape Fear CC spoiled the party some with a 25-15, 28-26, 23-25, 25-20 win, Lancers coach Haley Thomas said she was proud of what the sophomores have done for the team all season.

“They have led this team 100 percent,” Thomas said. “Katie and Laura definitely stepped up this year and even though we’ve had to overcome a lot of injuries this season, the team continued to play hard. They’re all going to play somewhere in college and they have a lot of love for the game.”

The passion was on display Wednesday, even in a loss. After Cape Fear (6-9) won the first set handily and went up 15-6 in the second, LCC (8-12) roared back to tie the game at 23 with the help of kills from Houston and Jenkins, along with a Toree Marak block. The Sea Devils would have two set points staved off by a Jenkins kill, followed by Grady’s block before another Jenkins kill put LCC up 26-25 for a set point. Unfortunately, Cape Fear picked up the next three points to go up 2-0.

LCC would explode early with a 5-1 start to the third set and went up by as many as 10. Cape Fear would make a furious rally, getting within 24-23, but Jenkins’ tip gave the Lancers the set and the momentum carried again to the fourth with the team getting the first three points. The Sea Devils trailed 17-12, but turned the game around with a 13-3 run to end the set and match.

Many of the players are still undecided about their next destination, and Jenkins said the two years have flown by.

“It’s kind of like the end of an era,” Jenkins said. “I’m going to miss it and some of the new people who brought different energy.”

Grady, who will head to UNC-Charlotte next year, said it’ll be tough playing without Jenkins, who she shared plenty of success with at South Lenoir prior to LCC. The Blue Devils went 65-25 with the duo, including four straight Eastern Carolina Conference titles.

“This was my last chance to play with my best friend and I’ll miss that the most,” Grady said.

Sparks said she’ll miss great moments on the court, along with the school.

“It was great whenever someone got a block or a big hit out there,” Sparks said. “I’m also going to miss the environment.”

Avery said the atmosphere of LCC will also be missed next season.

“It was a fun environment and I’ll also miss the fun times we had together as a team,” Avery said.

Houston said LCC won’t be forgotten.

“I’m going to miss Coach Thomas, (athletic director Shelly) Barnes and everyone I’ve met out here,” Houston said.

LCC will participate in the Region 10 Conference tournament, which is from Nov. 2-3. The location and times are yet to be determined.

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