Lutheran knows its a target in sectionals
Southsider Voice Online Editor
Lutheran is the smallest high school in Marion County, but that does not reflect on its volleyball roster. Roughly 10 percent of the school’s girls play the sport; even more come out to support their Saints at home.
“There is a lot of pride in our school,” coach Kathy Anderson said. “I think the kids have a positive experience with us so they tell their friends to play. We have a winning tradition, and every group that comes in wants to keep that tradition alive.”
The tradition stems from domination in its Class A sectional and deep tournament runs. Lutheran has captured 11 of its past 12 sectionals and won the 2013 Marion County Championship. It’s not an upset anymore for tiny Lutheran to beat a school that’s a dozen times larger, as evidenced by wins over Ben Davis and Southport in August. Anderson credits the success in part to team chemistry.
“We are very tight; we trust each other,” Anderson said. “There is a high level of trust there, and I think it makes all of us want to work harder.”
The success has made it easier for Lutheran to upgrade its facilities. The volleyball pole and net system that the Saints had used since the 1991 season was finally replaced this year. Anderson said the poles had become worn and were dangerous because of weighing 60 pounds each. If a player or coach dropped them, they could damage the hardwood floor.
School boosters raised the $8,500 needed to replace the pole system. The weight was cut 33 percent, ensuring a safer stand.
“I think it says a lot about the supporters of our program that they stepped up and made the donations to make it happen,” Anderson noted.
The Saints are ranked No. 4 in Class A and are 19-9 on the season. Middle blocker Whitney Hoover is one of six seniors and has more than half of the team kills with 462 on the season, thanks to her team-high .384 attack percentage. She is second in the Indiana Crossroads Conference in both categories. The 6 foot 2 inch senior is considering to play volleyball at Wittenberg or Siena Heights vniversities.
Seniors Julia Simmons and Emma McIntosh are in the top three in the conference in aces with Simmons second for assists. Senior libero Elise Sombke is third in the conference in digs with 401.
Lutheran will begin its quest to defend its sectional title when hosting Morristown on Tuesday.
“We know we have a target on our backs,” Anderson said about sectionals. “We know they gear up for us, but we gear up for them too; it goes both ways.”