Lady Crusaders show they are a team to be reckoned with

Miranda Rysiewicz ‘15
Photographer

vball

Undefeated: The word that comes to mind when talking about the LCN Varsity Volleyball Team. The Lady Crusaders went undefeated in the MAC Gold Division and had three tournament wins this season.
Coach Gary Malburg said, “Our success came from two major reasons. Foremost was the commitment to each other. The seniors, Amanda Falkenhagen, Abrina Meatte, and Jordan Byle, made sure that there weren’t any cliques within the team. The girls hung out together and pulled for each other even when competing for playing time. Secondly, this team made a commitment to being physically fit. They trained before and after practice 2 to 3 times a week. This made us unbeatable in games that went five sets and a tough team to play in day-long tournaments.”
“We run a lot to build stamina, which has helped us push through long, tough games,” Jenna Helsing ’15 said.
A key to the team’s success has been their workouts. Amy Bauer, junior Kaileen Bauer’s mom, has worked with the girls since July. The workouts have not been easy. In the beginning, the girls found it tough to make it through the workout. Now that the girls are in shape, the workouts are not as tough to get through.
“The first workout we did only a few girls could actually make it through the whole thing and we didn’t really like going. But now everyone can make it through the whole workout without a problem and we actually like going because we are seeing good results,” Danielle Sargent ’15 said.
Running, core work, free weights, and agility have gotten the girls in shape for this season. The team feels that this has helped them immensely this season. Most other teams do not train like this so the girls have a big advantage.
Another key to the team’s success is how well the team gets along.
“We are all very close and nobody has issues with each other. We all share the same passion and play for the love of the game,” Meatte, a captain, said.
Having chemistry on the court helps tremendously. They have to know their teammates and how they play to help each other out and not only play for themselves but play for their team.
“At practice we focus on the fundamentals, everything we do has a purpose and we concentrate on the little things. At times it may seem repetitive and boring but they do help you out in game situations,” Sargent said.
The team practices the way they play, if the team is not focused and slacking at practice, it will show in a game. The team practices or has a workout every day of the school week, and has a tournament almost every weekend. The girls stay focused and practice hard so that they can play hard in tough and important games.
“I don’t think we have key players; we have an all-around great team and everyone has an important role on the court,” Kaileen Bauer said.
Every member of the team has her own job and role on the team. Everyone has her position where she needs to perform.
“Not only the girls on the court with you but the girls on the bench help out too. They keep the energy up by cheering us on no matter what the score is or who is winning,” Sargent said.
Even though the team is in the MAC Gold Division they can compete with MAC Red Division teams. The team has beaten a number of MAC Red and MAC White teams that other MAC Gold teams cannot compete with.
Another reason the team has been unstoppable is that there haven’t been many injuries throughout the season, besides two concussions. There have not been any major injuries that would keep a player out for a long period of time. This is helpful because there are no parts of the team missing and they don’t have girls playing a position where they aren’t comfortable.
“My favorite game was against St. Clair because it was intense. We played five games, and it was the only team we lost to in league play last season,” Sargent said.
Another favorite game of some of the players was against Port Huron Northern because they all had to come together, work hard to get the win, and it was the best volleyball they played all season.
Following this game, the team moved on to the District Finals against Dakota after beating Port Huron in a tough series. They finished with a record of 34-12-6