Women’s Volleyball Team Stung by Rival in First Round

Abbi Leeper jumping to hit a volleyball
Abbi Leeper spiking a ball. Image from https://www.lynchburgsports.com/sports/wvball/2020-21/releases/20210428xoqctd

William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist

     The University of Lynchburg Women’s Volleyball Team enjoyed a successful season, finishing third in a competitive conference, but the team lost to archrival Randolph-Macon in the ODAC quarterfinals.

     Interim Head Coach Hannah Givens said “Being able to host the first round of the ODAC tournament was such a reward,” she began. “We worked hard this season and being able to host a conference tournament game proved it. This is the first time we hosted an ODAC first round match since 2016, so we are really proud of this accomplishment.” 

     Alexis Horner, a freshman middle blocker, said, “The loss to Randolph Macon does sting. However, I see every game as an opportunity to learn and implement what we practice every week. The losses are opportunities for the players on the team to figure out what they need to improve on. After the loss to Randolph-Macon, I feel more motivated than ever to work hard over summer break, so I can be ready to compete in the fall.”

     Horner continued, “When I came to Lynchburg last fall, I did my best to have an open mind and a teachable spirit. I am so grateful because my coaches and my teammates challenge me every practice to learn new skills and grow as an athlete. Due to the environment of our practices, I believe my teammates and I have grown exponentially in the past year. We are looking forward to using this growth as a foundation for future seasons. I absolutely believe that this year has been successful. We have worked incredibly hard to produce a record-breaking season that will help us improve in upcoming seasons. We have been learning, growing, and developing a strong culture. This makes me so proud to be a part of the University of Lynchburg family. I know that continuous hard work and dedication will yield championship results.” 

     Natalie Lavelle, a senior middle blocker, was disappointed that her career ended with a home quarterfinal loss. She explained, “A home loss in the quarterfinals is not the ideal way to end a season for any senior. However, I am proud of how the team performed and progressed over the past year we have been training. I am extremely proud of the underclassmen for stepping into large roles and giving it their all.”

     Lavelle expressed her utmost confidence in the underclassmen excelling next year, stating, “The freshmen gained the experience of playing competitively on the court and holding all their teammates accountable. They have made great strides and I have confidence in them to dominate upcoming seasons. 

     Lavelle is thankful for everyone’s support in the University of Lynchburg community. “I want to thank my fans, coaches, and teammates because they caused us to have a successful season amid the pandemic,” she said. “There were many people who worked hard and were responsible for our success. The amount of support was overwhelming. The upset is not the end of the line for the University of Lynchburg Women’s Volleyball Team. Everyone has so much more to accomplish, and everyone has the ability to make these accomplishments happen. The banner will be filled, and I am excited to see what my teammates will accomplish in the future.” 

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