Central volleyball coach Wes Lyon is working this season with players who went to four different schools last year. Some of his players went to Central, while others went to Southside. Some of the freshmen were at Northside Middle School, others are coming from Wilson Middle.
Despite the challenge of integrating a new-look roster, Lyon has a more pressing concern, his team’s youth. Lyon estimates his playing rotation will feature two seniors, two juniors, three sophomores and one freshman, so he will often be relying on younger players. Development of those young players is a pressing concern for Lyon.
The Bearcats went 19-12 in 2013.
“You can’t tell somebody to be a leader,” Lyon said. “You just have to have somebody who just eventually steps up and becomes that girl. We’ve got a couple kids who are capable of doing it, they’ve just got to take the initiative and they’ll figure it out.”
Lyon spoke about the development of his team in a hallway of Muncie Fieldhouse following his team’s scrimmage against Burris last week. He was complimentary about the Owls’ ball control and about his own team’s hitting.
He’d like to have both attributes for his own team, though he’s confident offense will be a strength for his team this season, especially if other areas can improve to facilitate offensive production.
“Ball control’s just got to get better,” Lyon said. “I think we have some people that can play well, but we’ve just got to be able to finish all the time.”
One of the young players Lyon will be counting on is sophomore Lacee Adams, who will start at setter. In addition to being young herself, Adams will also need to guide other young players as she directs her team’s offense.
“We’re trying to act like seniors,” Adams said. “Last year we used to act like freshmen, we all used to act like freshmen and sophomores. This year we’re just trying to grow up as a team and as a unit.”
Lyon quickly says in his interview his team has a long way to go, that there’s plenty of improvement still to be made. Adams quickly agrees with the assessment. But she is also optimistic about the potential her team has if it does make those needed strides. She feels a state title could be within the Bearcats’ reach with continued improvement.
“I just feel like we’re more of a team, we act like a team, we bond together,” Adams said.