MANCHESTER – Getting to the state semifinals during a record-setting girls basketball season last winter was thrilling enough for Lindsey Smith.
Having a chance to experience similar success this fall in volleyball added to what’s been an impressive high school athletic career for the Laingsburg senior.
“It’s great,” said Smith, who was voted the LSJ prep athlete of the week after totaling 97 assists while helping the Wolfpack win a regional title last week.
“After basketball I’d never thought I’d see myself here again. It’s great to be able to be at this stage. It’s the best and all the fans come out and people just work harder. Everything is that much better at this stage.”
Deep tournament runs aren’t a given, but Smith and her teammates believed what they accomplished – a school-record 43 wins and first-ever regional title – was possible. And being a part of last year’s unprecedented basketball run added to Smith’s belief that Laingsburg could do something special on the volleyball court this fall.
“We knew we had a lot of talent coming up,” Smith said. “We lost a lot but we knew we had a bunch of sophomores who played club and they really, really had gained in their skill set. We just knew we needed to piece it together and we totally believed we could get here.”
And they did that, reaching the Class C quarterfinals before their record run was halted by defending state champion Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central on Tuesday at Manchester High School. Even though the season ended, Smith will take away a lot from the tournament run and hopes she has inspired others.
“I hope I left an impact and let others know that anything is possible,” Smith said. “We’re a small school and going up against the defending state champs – we were right with them all game. I hope I leave that you should believe more than you’re capable of.”
Laingsburg coach Tennille Whitmore said she will miss the presence of Smith and what she brought to the team.
“Watching her from pigtails in second grade to the leader she became on this court is really amazing,” Whitmore said. “She put in a lot of out of season work and really just kind of anchored us with her calm demeanor on the court. She’s definitely a big loss for us.”
Contact Brian Calloway at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.