Girls varsity volleyball team poised for strong season

Written by Ryan Bennett, Sports Editor

The LTHS girls varsity volleyball team is primed to have a great fall season. Head Coach Nick Mraz has high hopes for conference and a playoff push.

One of the main strong points of the team is its experience. Coach Mraz adds, “We only graduated two seniors last year, so we pretty much returned the entire roster intact.” 

Even after a successful season last year, a good team always has to improve and face its challenges. “We have a lot of individual talent but need to come together as a unit sooner rather than later,” Coach Mraz says, adding that if the team succeeds in that, it will be a force to be reckoned with.

As Coach Mraz points out, the individual talent on the team is notable. Four team members have committed to play volleyball in college, and more plan to commit throughout the season as well. 

The senior captains for the season will be Leena Ajibola, Taylor Morgan, and Morgan Schmuztler. The team members select who fills these positions. “The senior captains are picked based on a questionnaire of indicators that demonstrate characteristics of a good leader,” Coach Mraz says.

The team plays in the Southwest Suburban Conference (SWSC). Right now, three teams in the SWSC are ranked in the top 15 in the state. “The SWSC is one of the toughest conferences in the state,” Coach Mraz says. “Sandburg, Lockport, Lincoln-Way East, and Homewood-Flossmoor are all very strong this year, so if we are able to win the SWSC that would mean a lot going into playoffs since most of the sectional is our conference.”

Now, the big question is, how far can the team go? “We want to hit 25-plus wins again [out of 35 in total],” Coach Mraz says. “We want an SWSC title — beating Sandburg along the way — and we want to make some noise in the playoffs. Our depth and potential can make this year special, so we really do have high expectations.”