Lanett volleyball off to a hot start

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, August 27, 2022

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The Lanett varsity volleyball team is 3-0 to start the season, and they’re looking like a dominant team.

Head coach Krisse Story has been coaching the team for 10 years, and they’ve already had some milestones under her leadership.

The Panthers beat LaFayette, Beulah and Valley over the past two weeks, and it was their first time beating Beulah in Story’s tenure.

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“We are developing,” Story said. “One of our former coaches always used to say ‘Keep watering the bamboo,’ and so that’s what we’ve done. Bamboo doesn’t grow overnight. It takes years to reach its full potential. Because we’ve kept watering the bamboo, we’re finally seeing some of the fruits of our labor. We have a really good team. We’ve worked really hard.”

The Panthers lost their assistant coach, Kawana Tucker, last month, but it was an opportunity to grow for Story and her team.

“The difficulties that we’ve been through this summer have helped to propel us and motivate us,” Story said. “It’s still emotional. It’s a very difficult time, but I think the girls have channeled that energy into something positive.”

Story also believes this is the best team she’s ever had.

“That’s based on commitment, dedication and work ethic,” Story said. “It’s not just about wins and losses. Last year, we had a decent season, but this year, there’s just a different type of work ethic. You had several girls that didn’t miss a practice this summer, and that’s rare.”

Story knows she needs to be patient with her girls and their development.

“It takes time to develop a player,” Story said. “It takes time to grow as a coach. This summer, I had a lot of time that I normally don’t have because this is the first time I haven’t had my boys in the house. I had more free time to go to camps and go to a coaching clinic over the summer.”

Story has been pleased with her girls’ teamwork this season.

“They’ve played well together,” Story said. “This is probably the most communication I’ve seen on the court. They don’t let each other get down. They get each other up and coach each other up.”

Story knows her team still has some work to do.

“We just learned a new rotation, so we’re still working on that,” Story said. “Our passing has been a little bit weaker than I would like. We’re 3-0, and I’m proud of that. I think our passing has been a weakness in the past three games.”

Story also praised her seniors for their presence on the court.

“We have phenomenal senior leadership,” Story said. “We have four seniors. This year, I implemented a leadership team. I watched the whole summer for leaders. It’s difficult because all of the girls have been playing. All four seniors have displayed great leadership. I have a junior and a sophomore who compose our leadership team along with the seniors. When you have great leaders, you have a great team.”

The Panthers will play Randolph County on Tuesday, then they’ll have eight days off.