Confident Lions eye another 5A state berth
The Lansing High volleyball team has won 22 of its last 24 matches entering Class 5A sub-state play at 2 p.m. Saturday at Shawnee Heights.
The only two setbacks came Tuesday night to St. Thomas Aquinas, the top-ranked team in 5A, and Olathe South, the third-ranked team in 6A. Other than that, Lansing has won every match it was supposed to.
The Lions (29-5) have won in blowouts. They've won nail-biters. They've even come from behind a few times. Now they're ready to take their place among the state's best in the postseason.
"We're really excited because we know it's something that we can attain," senior Lauren Griffen said of the possibility of qualifying for state. "Looking back at our first game on Sept. 10 at our home invitational, we weren't doing so hot and we didn't mesh as a team. But we've gotten better and we've been able to stay up and run a quick offense. As a team it's just so exciting. It's such an accomplishment for all of us."
Griffen said the Lions' success this season has been the result of everybody contributing. They use a nine-player rotation - seniors Keele McLaurin, Casey Welch, Dana Sanders, Whitney Lozenski, Dayna Norwood and Griffen, and juniors Kate Courtney, Riann Deere and Jessie Delinger - and Griffen said all nine made valuable contributions throughout the year.
"Everyone makes a difference," she said. "We don't have girls sitting on the bench. Everyone's playing every match. Everyone's contributing. Everyone's doing stuff. That's what's so exciting about this."
Three players from the junior varsity - junior Elizabeth Cristiano, sophomore Erin Griffen and freshman Brittney Lang - will join the varsity club in the postseason.