ABOVE: Sydney Hancock, senior setter, back sets the ball to fellow teammate during practice. (Daegiona Wilson/Staff photographer)

By Blake Garman
Staff reporter

After a long wait for fall sports, it is here. Lady Builders volleyball prepares for their first game of the season Sept. 5 at 12 p.m. in Salina against rivals, Friends University.

After finishing the season 18-11 last year, they are hungry for improvement with six seniors and a loaded freshman class.

Jake Conrad, head volleyball coach, enters his second year coaching the Lady Builders. After a great season last year even Conrad is hungry for better. He is confident in this team’s ability to perform at a very high level this fall.

 With COVID-19 being the pinnacle of concern this year, Conrad exclaims the importance of being there for each-other. These are unprecedented times, to be successful you must be able to adapt. The team has handled this challenge very well, with temperature checks and constant surveys about health throughout the day through the Sway App.

This fall joining the volleyball team will be 18 talented freshmen. Conrad said, “There is a lot of passion, excitement and experience coming from these new players. The seniors have been passing down a great deal of knowledge.” Most of these incoming freshmen played in talented clubs, and some even had Division I offers.

Along with the big freshmen class, joining the team this year is new assistant coach, Tim Alaniz. Alaniz has enjoyed the atmosphere and loves the people he has met here. He has taken note of how much they are improving in such a short amount of time.

Alaniz also weighed in on the character of the team, “The number of athletes willing to put time in, is remarkable.”

Kaila Harris, senior setter, had a few things to say about this team. “I see more depth then last year, I feel like we are more prepared to compete at a higher level this year with a stronger offense.”

She also said some of the things they believe that they have improved on the most is communication. With a bigger group of newcomer’s communicating is very important.

 When asked what she wants to instill in the class of 2024. “The aspect of family, making sure these freshmen know they aren’t alone.”

If one thing is clear, is that this Lady Builders are not going to be a push over. They are locked and loaded, ready for this season.