BY JESSALYN KIRCHHOFF
Smith Center has been a volleyball powerhouse for several years and this year is no exception. The Lady Red are undefeated so far this season with a 4-0 record after Tuesday’s triangular at Stockton. The Lady Red notched two more Mid Continental League wins over the Hoxie Lady Indians and the Stockton Lady Tigers.
The Lady Indians had a hard time starting the game, ceding the Lady Red a 5 – 0 lead right off the bat. Hoxie continued to struggle against Lady Red power hitters such as juniors Ashlyn Long and Tallon Rentschler.
Though Hoxie had their hands full at the net, the team continuously covered the floor with great digs made by senior libero, Morgan Keith, who played a good defensive match for the Lady Indians. However, no matter how many times the ball was brought back to life by the Lady Indians, the Lady Red set up into another attack.
Smith Center won the match 2-0 (25 – 12) (25 – 15).
After defeating Hoxie, the Lady Red moved on to their next opponent, the Stockton Lady Tigers. Much like Hoxie, Stockton had a slow start to the match. The Lady Red scored 16 consecutive points off their first server Ashlyn Long. Smith Center kept this same energy throughout the match, winning 2-0 (25 – 7) (25 – 8).
After the games, Lady Red head coach Nick Linn commented on the night’s outcomes.
“I am very pleased with the way the team played, especially this early in the year. I think we’re doing a great job covering the floor and we had a great night for serves, only missing three throughout the night,” said Smith Center Head Coach, Nick Linn. “I’m very happy with that. Overall, I’m most excited about the floor coverage and the communication that we displayed tonight.”
Linn went on to explain the night did not only go as he had expected but also went as he hoped it would.
Adding to Smith Center’s impressive showing was their youth, as the Lady Red don’t have any seniors on the varsity roster. Regarding his young team, Linn said the youth has positively impacted the team.
“[it was] scary going into the season, but as their season has progressed, the youth of the team has not had a huge impact on the team dynamic,” Linn said. “What they lack in experience, they make up for in heart and communication across the net. Though it was scary to have so many underclassmen on the court, they were not scared to play in the least. This is the biggest contribution that they have made to the team.”
Smith Center is a definite team to watch as the volleyball season carries on. They have power hitters, strong blocking capabilities, and solid floor coverage. It will be interesting to see what next week’s matchups against the Norton Lady Bluejays and the Oakley Lady Plainsmen will bring as the Smith Center Lady Red work on their winning season.