Entering this season, the Comeaux Lady Spartans set their sights on making their first trip to the state volleyball tournament since 2008.
With the vast majority of their team returning this season, headlined by Hali Williams and Kiley Belsom, the Lady Spartans have believed reaching that goal was more than achievable from day one.
“Our goal is to try to get back to the state volleyball tournament,” Lady Spartans head coach Erin Belsom said. “The top eight teams make it to the state tournament and we want to be one of those teams. It’s a tall mountain to climb, but if we continue to work hard along with everyone we have coming back from last year we’ll have a very good chance to do it.”
The Lady Spartans, who have faced more than their share of tough opponents this season, have posted a 6-9 overall record but are 5-1 in Division I, District 1 play.
“Our season has been a little up and down,” Belsom said. “It seems like as soon as we get one person back from an injury or illness, someone else goes out sick or with an ankle sprain. Right now, we’re just trying to work hard at staying steady and preparing ourselves for the playoffs.”
In addition to Williams and Kiley Belsom, the Lady Spartans have also benefited from solid play by senior libero Mackenzie Romero and sophomore outside hitter Madie Comeaux as well as setters Amber Langlinais and Ashley Morvant.
Coach Belsom credit her Lady Spartans’ hard work at serve receive in practice for the hot start in district play.
“We have been working extremely hard on first touch,” coach Belsom said. “We’ve worked so hard at our serve receive this year that it has improved tremendously. Improving so much at serve-receive is important because we have six really good hitters. Improving at served receive has helped us run our offense a lot better than we had.”
If there is one thing the Lady Spartans must continue to improve on as the season progresses it’s their mental toughness, as coach Belsom doesn’t want a mental lapse to cost them an important point in a match.
“We have to improve on staying in the match mentally,” coach Belsom said. “We have to be able to stay in every point and not allow an easy point because we didn’t do the basics. I also feel we must improve on believing in ourselves, because sometimes we don’t think we can.”
From this point, Belsom just wants to see her Lady Spartans go out and compete in every match and let the chips fall where they may.
“I definitely believe the key for us is putting our best foot forward and leaving it all on the line every match,” coach Belsom said. “If we do those things, then I definitely believe we’re capable of being in the top eight at the end of the year.”
Follow assistant sports editor Eric Narcisse on Twitter @tdanarcisse.