LCC picks up a pair of straight-set wins Saturday

LCC picks up a pair of straight-set wins Saturday

Lenoir Community College’s volleyball team finished its best week of the season in convincing fashion.

The Lancers took a pair of contests Saturday at home, defeating USC-Salkehatchie 25-5, 25-9, 25-18 and Vance-Granville 25-13, 25-5, 25-11 to improve their record to 4-4. LCC won a five-set thriller over Louisburg College Tuesday at home before registering two easy victories back at the friendly confines of the Sportatorium.

Haley Thomas, in her first year coaching the Lancers, said there have been noticeable improvements in the team each day.

“We’re getting better in practice and have focused a lot on the defensive side,” Thomas said. “On the other side, we’re getting better with setting up our hitters, and they’ve been able to put the ball away in better spots.”

Thomas was an assistant coach last year for the Lancers and has a strong volleyball resume, playing at Limestone College from 2011-14 after helping her North Myrtle Beach High School team win consecutive regional championships in her junior and senior seasons. Outside hitter Lynn Marie Grady said there hasn’t been much of a hiccup with Thomas coming to the forefront as head coach.

“It has been a pretty smooth transition,” Grady said. “Haley relates to us more as players and being students in college — she was one not too long ago.”

Sophomore middle hitter Laura Jenkins said the team supported the move.

“She brings more to the team because she’s younger and has played college ball before, so it was a fairly easy transition,” Jenkins said. “We were excited to find out that Haley was going to be our head coach for the 2018 season.”

Thomas said chemistry hasn’t been an issue, especially with most of the players coming from high schools of close proximity. All nine players on the roster hail from Lenoir or Wayne County, with Grady and Jenkins coming from South Lenoir and Reagan Avery graduating from North Lenoir.

“The players are very familiar, playing with and against each other over the years,” Thomas said. “The sophomores on the team really bonded last year and it’s been the same way with the freshmen. We’ve got a little more work to do with communication on the court, but as soon as we fix a couple of things, we’ll be really hard to beat.”

LCC will travel to Winterville Tuesday to face Pitt Community College, a matchup the Lancers’ Jennifer Sparks said the team can’t wait for.

“We’re always excited for the rivalry match with Pitt,” Sparks said.

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