Vball vying for first

Team chemistry a key for success


Cathie Lawrence

LMC volleyball player Janessa Seei digs for the ball as Roxanne Avilla, Savannah O’Neal and Kiana Abrego watch on.

The Lady Mustang Volleyball team’s plan to dominate their 2015 fall season is to kill each day as it comes. Starting practically new with only two returning girls, Head Coach Lou Panzella thinks his new team has the potential for greatness.

“I think I have a really hard working group of girls who push each other every day during practice. We are getting better every day we are in the gym and I’m really happy with the group that we have here,” said Panzella. “For our new team, every time we go out, the competition of the night is the team we have to beat.”

With a new team comes new challenges, including figuring out what pieces are the best fit to the court chemistry.

“One of our returners is setter Aubree Dejesus who was First-Team All-Conference last season which is a nice place to start. Being a setter is a crucial position, like the quarterback of a football team, so it’s good we have someone there with plenty of experience,” said Panzella. “Lindsey Baynes is our other returning player who we had to move from opposite hitter to libero this year, which is probably the better natural position for her. We have great leadership at two of the more important positions on the court.”

Before the games come practices. Baynes describes practices as “intense and fun at the same time.” Drills are tied with real game situations to make the girls think while on their feet, and leaving their feet. The coaching staff makes sure to stay on top of the girl’s drills and breaks to make sure the team’s full potential is reached.

“Coaching wise, we have different personalities,” said freshman outside hitter Taylor Green. “We have the mean one (Panzella), the nice one (assistant coach Tyler Trolson) and the one that makes you do all the push ups (assistant coach Sandra Foster). So it’s a pretty good balance.”

From practices to games, Dejesus plans to be the captain the team needs in order to taste victory. She believes having the team click is one of the most important reasons they win games this year.

“I definitely believe that we will be more successful than I thought we were going to be in the beginning because we have great chemistry,” said Dejesus. “I am really competitive as a person and as a captain, I expect my team to go all out for everything. Don’t ever give up and fight until the end. That will take us to playoffs, and we can fight until we are on top.”

Yuba, Solano and Napa prove to be teams on the Mustangs’ radar on their climb to be number one.

“In conference play, Yuba has won the conference twice, Solano has won the conference once, and Napa is usually very good. It’ll be a dogfight for the top half of the conference. To be on top we have to come into the gym everyday and walk out a little better than when we started,” said Panzella. “The only thing we control is our effort.”