Linton-HMB is the only undefeated volleyball team in class B this season. With a perfect 16-0 record there’s no doubt where the Lions see their season going.
“The girls have goals and we know this is not going to be an easy goal,” head coach Jaime Richter said. “The girls really want to go to state.”
The question is what will it take to make it there in a region that has two of the top three teams in the state?
“Always work hard at practice, take every match seriously, just keep working on our weaknesses and keep playing as a team, and I think we can get there,” senior Emily Kelsch said.
Practices have been even more important when in-season tournaments aren’t being played. Teams rarely face off against the east side of the state.
“They have to tell themselves ‘every day we have to make ourselves better,’ and ‘what am I going to learn out of this practice?’ Jaime Richter said. “That’s what they have to tell themselves, and that’s what we talked about at the beginning of the season.”
Even for a team that has seen this much success, there are weak points. The Lions do not have the height to make big blocks, so they have put an emphasis on ball placement and outsmarting their opponents.
“As we’re swinging our defense is always behind us telling us where to hit, or even after points if we’re not quite getting the swings or getting it in the right spot to score we always just come together in our huddle and say, ‘OK this is open, this is open,’ so we can adjust,” junior Jaycee Richter said.
The Lions’ biggest improvements this season have come from focusing on the small details starting with serves and serve receive.
“We work on where we place the serve too,” Jaycee Richter said. “Not focusing as much on how hard we serve it, but where we place it, and consistency is really important too.”
The Lions hope the consistency continues as they fight for a bid to the state tournament, and what could be the first state title in school history.