South Lenoir volleyball looks to improve in 2019
DEEP RUN — South Lenoir is working from within to recover from a rough 2018.
The Blue Devils did finish 10-10 with an eighth straight postseason appearance, but finished fourth in the conference for the first time since 2011. South Lenoir also graduated nine seniors from last season’s team, but Coach Lisa Smith said the work in the summer can do nothing but help.
“We’ve been working on a lot of teamwork events,” Smith said. “They have the ability, but it’s more about trusting each other and working as a family — that was our biggest problem last year, and if we can’t work together, we’re not going to win.”
Sara Beth Stroud said the Blue Devils are making plenty of strides toward a strong rapport.
“It’s been more important for us to come out and work together as a team and it starts in practice,” Stroud said. “This team has gotten along more this year and we’ve also worked on building chemistry off the court.”
Michaela Elmore said the lack of chemistry in 2018 hurt the team and necessary changes are being made.
“We didn’t make enough of an effort last year to work as a team,” Elmore said. “So far this year, we’ve been doing more of that, coming together and playing volleyball how we’re capable of playing.”
While Elmore and Stroud look to finish their senior seasons with a flurry, sophomore Lindsay Williams is trying to make her mark with the Blue Devils in 2019.
“Practices have been pretty good, and I’m just trying to pick up experiences from the seniors,” Williams said. “We’ve been trying to work more on our communication in practice as a team.”
Smith said she believes this team has the potential to be an elite team in the Eastern Carolina Conference.
“I expect them to finish higher than we did last year,” Smith said. “We know we’re not perfect, but we go out there to win every match we play. As long as they give the coaches and teammates everything they have, I can’t ask for more — we want to be at the top and they have the ability.”