Lady Lions Volleyball hopes to make Southland Conference Tournament

Volleyball team huddle together

The Lion's Roar/Jonathan Rhodes

The Lady Lions volleyball team finished last season with a 13-18 overall record. This season Head Coach Jim Smoot hopes to improve that record to something they can be more proud of.

“We definitely weren’t satisfied with that outcome last year,” said Smoot. “We expected a winning record. That was kind of a disappointment, but I definitely think we’ll improve upon that this season.”

Part of the improvements involves bringing in new players and getting them to work together.

“We have so many new players,” said Smoot. “We are looking to mesh them together and combining the four seniors with a lot of experience with the freshmen. I think it’s going to be a really strong team. I think it is going to be successful depending on our ability to do that.”

With volleyball season starting this week, practices have been in full swing with a focus on team play.

“Since we have a lot of players with experience, we have just been mainly working on our team play,” said Smoot. “Not so much individual skill, but more working on our team offense.”

The first match of the season will be the Green and Gold Match taking place in the University Center tomorrow Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. Smoot shared that the game is not just for the players.

“I think it’s just to give them an opportunity to play in a match circumstance before we have to actually play an opponent,” said Smoot. “To get used to the atmosphere of the match and to just have our fans see the new players.”

The many new players are also several seasoned upperclassmen. Senior Landry Bullock is starting off the season with All-Southland Preseason Honors. Smoot believes she is one to watch.

“I was really disappointed when she didn’t make it to the second team on conference,” said Smoot. “She is an outstanding player and has had an outstanding preseason so I think she has proved that she does deserve to be on first or second team on conference.” 

Smoot also stated the fact that preseason does not matter to him.

“I always tell the team, I don’t care if we are ranked number one preseason,” said Smoot. “I want to be ranked number one at the end of the season.”

With the Green and Gold Match tomorrow and the first game on Saturday Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. and again at 4 p.m. in the University Center, Smoot shared his expectations for the season.

“Basic goal is to make the conference tournament and to win that,” said Smoot. “I think we definitely have a goal to compete for the conference tournament. That’s our main goal is to be the conference champion.”