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Lanett volleyball gets into full swing

After a short delay because of COVID-19, the Lanett volleyball team started its third full week of workouts on Monday.

“They’ve been excited to be back together,” head coach Krissy Story said. “They’ve been really doing really well making sure that they’re maintaining social distancing and making sure that they’re doing what the coaches ask of them to keep themselves and the coaches safe.”

The Panthers split their workouts into the varsity and junior varsity teams, maximizing the space in their gym and making sure that players were able to spread out.

The Panthers’ varsity team has a core of sophomores coming back in 2020, making up almost half of the team that was at workouts on Monday. Their growth from their freshman year is what Story is looking forward to.

“I’m looking for some great things from our sophomore class,” Story said. “I think we’ll see a lot of leadership from that class and experience, because quite a few of them played varsity, even if they didn’t play the whole season.”

Since the Panthers last played a match, most of their players have moved on to play at least one sport, which Story feels helped with their maturity process. Now, they are more eager to learn and compete heading into 2020.

“I’ve seen them grow in maturity in the way they push each other and encourage each other to do what’s right and finish whatever we start,” Story said. “I’ve seen a lot of growth and maturity.”

For the most part, Story and assistant coach Kawana McFarlin-Tucker haven’t started teaching more advanced mechanics just yet. They’re more worried about getting the fundamentals down first, as some girls haven’t played volleyball before.

For the next few weeks, Story’s plan is to just work with the girls to develop the younger ones and push the older ones to new heights.

At Monday’s workouts, the nine varsity members started at 10:30 and went for an hour and 15 minutes.

They started with footwork drills, going through ladders and step-ups.

After running through those drills for close to 20 minutes, they split up into pairs and started working on simple passing drills, bumping and setting balls to their partner.

After working through five sets of passing, the girls gathered into a circle with one player in the middle. The player in the middle started by either setting or bumping a pass to the other eight girls, trying to reach 20 consecutive passes without allowing the ball to touch the floor.

Next, Tucker worked on getting the players moving with the ball. She stood on one side of the court, while the nine girls stood at the other side. Tucker would lob a ball over the net to a player, who would need to catch it, but all nine players needed to take at least a step toward the ball as it got to their side of the floor.

For the next drill, the girls split into three sets of three. Tucker lobbed a ball over the net and players needed to have three touches before the ball went over the net. They changed the drill up for the next drill, as instead of Tucker throwing the ball over a player served the ball and they put a full lineup on the floor.

They finished the workout with a 3-on-3 King of the Hill scrimmage.