GIRLS VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW: Lady Lancers hope to shut out all competitors, being a younger team this year


Noah Lee

Middle blocker senior Olivia Haptonstall gets ready to spike a ball in the Thursday, Aug. 25, home match against the Canyon Comanches. Heading into the Wednesday, Sept. 14, matchup at La Habra, the Lady Lancers have a 1-0 Freeway League record after defeating Fullerton at home on Monday, Sept. 12.

Coach: Amanda Donaldson (head coach), Katie Pascoe (assistant coach), Madison Rumenap (assistant coach), Elyse Yoon (assistant coach)

Top Returning Players: Olivia Haptonstall (12), Stacy Kim (12), Grace Min (12), Kayla Taylor (11), Dylyn Williams (10)

Top Newcomer: Kayla Thienprasiddhi (9)

Last Season: The Lady Lancers finished the Freeway League with a 5-5 record, ending in fourth place and disqualifying them from CIF playoffs.

Outlook: In her eighth year as head coach, Donaldson said she hopes this season’s squad will go to the next level  to take first place in the Freeway League and earn a spot in CIF playoffs. 

“The team goal is to win league,” she said. “We were humbled last year with our 5-5 record, which knocked us out of CIF contention, so I think the girls are ready to come back hungrier than ever, and they’re putting in the work, so I can’t wait to see how they perform.”

Donaldson said she placed an emphasis during practice prior to the start of the season on the primary aspects of volleyball. 

“If we can focus on our side and still stay true to a lot of the fundamental things like serving, receiving [and] passing, we are going to bring everything up to the next level,” she said.

Heading into her second year as co-captain alongside libero Min, outside hitter Taylor said she’s excited for the season. 

“I think we have stronger hitters this year, and we’re also a younger team, which provides us with more offensive options,” the co-captain said. “I’m really excited to go into league, and I think that we have a very strong team [that] can go 10-0.”

Taylor’s prediction has held its own so far as the Lady Lancers won their Freeway League opener Monday, Sept. 12, against Fullerton, 3-1. 

The coaching staff emphasized positional training, hoping that players grow in individual aspects and function cohesively as a team. 

“I think if any team can take down everyone and make another big run at CIF, this is the team to do it,” Donaldson said. “We have a lot of things to improve and work on, but we have a really good bunch this year, so let’s see how hard they can work to make it happen.”  

Middle blocker Haptonstall said the players are improving as a unit and hopes to build better bonds throughout the season. 

“Volleyball has a lot to do with talking, and the closer you are off the court translates to how well you play, and I hope we continue to build on the chemistry [that] we have,” she said.

The Lady Lancers (3-5, 1-0 in the Freeway League) will face La Habra Wednesday, Sept. 14, in their first away match of the Freeway League season at 5:30 p.m.