Lincoln volleyball program builds for the future

PVL will remain strong
By: Jim Linsdau, Sports Editor
-A +A

In just one year, Lincoln High School girls volleyball head coach Shannon Kellar has established a new work ethic among the Fighting Zebras, as well as getting some of her younger athletes to compete in club ball during the summer.

However, Kellar isn’t predicting a Pioneer Valley League championship. League powers like Colfax, Placer and Bear River were also competing in club ball over the break.

“The competition is going to stay what it was,” said Kellar. “During club we played a lot of those because they all play club as well, so we had a lot of them on the off season. A lot of their players are returning so they’ll probably be just as strong.”

Although just 1-7 in league last year, Kellar isn't running up the white flag just yet. She has five returning players, among them seniors Emilee Lloyd and Nicole Wells. Wells had 26 kills and 13 blocks in 2012 and Lloyd is being groomed to be the club’s setter this season.

Four seniors took their diplomas in hand and departed from last year’s team, but Kellar is pleased with what she sees in the underclassmen. She has a number of promising freshmen and said the junior varsity could be the Zebras squad to watch this year.

“Our JV team, I think this will be their best year,” Kellar said. “For our incoming freshman, there are five or six players that are really, really solid for the underclassmen.”

As for varsity, Kellar said her front line will be stronger giving Lincoln greater offense. However, graduation took a large part of her defense, so the team is working hard in that area to create better balance.

Bear River and Placer tied at the top of the PVL with 9-1 records last year. The Bruins bid farewell to nine seniors off a 20-player roster and the Lady Hillmen graduated five seniors from a roster of 12.

Colfax was the third team to make the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Playoffs, but had to play Bear River in game two and was eliminated. The Bruins went on to win the D-IV championship.

Placer lost in the second playoff contest in Division III.

Center also finished 1-7 in league and Foothills was 0-7.

“I think it will be better this year because we do have players from each team that did play club and I have a few that didn’t play for me, but played for club on another team,” Kellar said.” So we have more all-around players that have been playing all season.”

Lincoln is scheduled to open the 2013 campaign at home against Lindhurst, 6 p.m., Aug. 30.