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Lancers opens season with three wins apiece

The girls’ volleyball season is off to a smashing start at Elmira District Secondary School, with both seniors and juniors going 3-0 in their first three games.

On Tuesday, both squads defeated Waterloo-Oxford three sets to one.

The senior girls also won an exhibition game over Listowel before the season started.

Lydia Frey spikes the ball over the net into Waterloo-Oxford territory in senior girls’ volleyball action Tuesday. The seniors won three sets to one. Inset: Laura Jane Weber receives the ball.
Lydia Frey spikes the ball over the net into Waterloo-Oxford territory in senior girls’ volleyball action Tuesday. The seniors won three sets to one. Inset: Laura Jane Weber receives the ball.

Tuesday’s match was the first time they haven’t gone to five sets to pull off the win; in their first pair of games, they came back from 2-0 deficits to win.

“They’re clutch,” said senior coach Alex Derma. “We’re very proud of their work ethic.”

Occasionally Derma and co-coach Troy Shantz have to remind their players to stay focused, but their coach said the girls are good at putting on their game faces.

On Tuesday, the girls lost their first set 23-25 but rallied to win the second 25-14. The third set was closer but the Lancers kept their composure and put it away 25-22, then kept Waterloo-Oxford off balance to win the fourth 25-13.

The coaches have a number of players back again from last year, including Jess Martin and Larissa Stevens, who combines a hard spike with a deadly serve.

Blocking is a strong point for this year’s team and Katie Martin is working hard at the front, throwing up a number of successful blocks against Waterloo Oxford.

Two other key veterans are libero Laura Jane Weber and Kassi Fritz, a good setter with a deceptive serve.

Rookie Lydia Frey is another strong outside hitter who plays with the poise of a veteran.

One area the coaches want to see the team work on is their serving.

“We’d like to see the serves get over every time,” Derma said.

They’re also trying to keep the girls grounded and not carried away by their wins. Their schedule this year is back loaded, so they’ll face tougher teams like Forest Heights and Bluevale Collegiate at the end of the season. Early wins are good to build their confidence, but their coaches don’t want the girls to be surprised when they take on the volleyball powerhouses.

“We try to keep it fun for them, but at the same time we want to play hard and compete.”

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