Lady Lions look to bounce back this season


File Photos/The Lion’s Roar

After a 2-27 record for the volleyball team in 2018, the Lady Lions look to change the volleyball culture at the university. Head Coach Jermey White hopes to see improvements in the 2019 season.

Finishing last season with two wins and 27 losses and with the departure of former Head Coach Jim Smoot, the Lady Lions Volleyball team looks to bounce back during the 2019 regular season.

Jeremy White, head coach of volleyball, will be starting his first season with the Lady Lions and described what he thought the team lacked last season.

“The team overall lacked a lot of discipline I think, and the culture was kind of in a bad position I think,” explained White. “They also lacked a lot of accountability from teammates, and the kids needed to bring a lot more energy to  the floor and to the practices. I know they had a couple games where they had the opportunity to close them out, but they couldn’t. When you don’t have that discipline, that  accountability and you don’t have that confidence, you’re not going to win volleyball games at any level.”

White described what he hopes to change and see differently this upcoming season with the Lady Lions.

“One of the big things we are after as a coaching staff is to change the culture of Southeastern volleyball,” stated White. “We are talking to the kids a lot about being great teammates and being leaders on the floor and in the classroom. All the things that don’t require you to be a great athlete we are teaching them and trying to instill  into them. We want them to be the best person possible off the floor. All the things that we are after is what’s expected as a collegiate athlete. We are trying to get everyone on the same page and doing the same routines, and that’s one of the first steps to being a great volleyball team and having a great culture. As soon as you change the culture, then you start to win a lot of games.”

The first-year head coach described the players he thinks will break out and become team leaders this season and predicted how the team will do in conference play this year.

“Jodi Edo for sure this season – if you watch her jump, you can just tell she’s a great athlete, and we’re really depending on her this season,” shared White. “Caroline Golden being a sixth-rotation kid will provide a great  boost of offense for us. And to be honest with you right now, I think  they’re going to be a lot of freshmen that break out this season. They’re not necessarily speaking up, but they are doing all the right actions that make a great leader. Lizzy Low and Jolie Hildalgo are coming in and doing a great job of showing what we expect out of this  program. We are definitely going to move up this season, and I think that we will shock a lot of people and naysayers. I have been in this situation before where if the kids buy into the system, you can win a lot of  games.”

Caroline Golden, a junior outside hitter, shared what she thinks the team lacked last season.

“I think we lacked chemistry definitely as a team,” explained Golden. “We have gotten better this offseason, and as we have gotten better, we have trusted one another more. Coach Jeremy has definitely instilled a lot of chemistry into the team this offseason.”

Golden explained who she thinks will step up and be a leader this season.

“Definitely watch out for Sam Gomez to step up and be a leader this season,” said Golden. “She’s a great player by blocking serves and hits. And I think Jolie Hildalgo will step up big as a freshmen this season. I think we will shock a lot of people and move up in the Southland Conference this season.”

The Lady Lions open up their season on Aug. 30 against Troy University in Jacksonville, Alabama.