Groundwork: Saints volleyball becoming more and more competitive

Posted on 12. Oct, 2017 by in Christian school, LCA News, Santa Monica, varsity volleyball

Coach expects more wins next year

santa monica christian school volleyball

Denied! Ymani Iyamah blocks the ball at the net.

By Alexis Lyons, LCA junior –

A slow and steady, if unspectacular, progress has characterized Lighthouse return to varsity volleyball competitions after three years of having no team.

The Saints’ match against AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian School is illustrative. In their first matchup on Aug. 29, Lighthouse lost 7-25, 12-25 and 14-25.

In the rematch, Lighthouse Christian Academy were more formidible: 16-25, 23-25 and 17-25.

“We’re laying the groundwork for next year,” said Coach Delores Hively. “The girls are competitive. It’s just that most of them have no experience playing in competitions. The closeness of the games is a good indicator. There’s improvment and growth.”

In Tuesday’s matchup, the Santa Monica Christian school players hustled and communicated. They maintained a positive attitude. Ymani Grace Iyamah stood out with blocks, serves and passes.

The result was doubly admirable considering that only six girls showed up to play (no substitutes).

Coach Hively also points out the Lighthouse fan support has been low, depriving players of that needed boost of energy from cheering parents and fellow students.

“If we would have had parents, I think we would have won more games,” Hively said. “In some games, we’ve had zero fans. But the other teams have a big support among parents and students. I don’t want to single out parents alone. I think over students, students, teachers, pastors could help cheer them on to victories.”

The Saints won its first game on Sept. 26 against Calvary Chapel of Oxnard, and since then have gone down with close games against Ribet Academy, Santa Clarita and now AGBU.

lighthouse christian academy santa monica

That serve! Alexis Lyons with her smashing jump serve.

Against Santa Clarita, the Saints won the second set 25-22, as well as the third set 25-23, forcing the final to the full five sets.

Against Ribet, LCA won the second and third sets, only to be defeated in the fifth.

“We’ve been doing so well- improving little by little,” said team captain, Trina Gratton. “These past few games have been such close scores! Whether it’s 23 to 25 or even 24 to 25, we’ve been working so hard to work together and support each other. I can’t wait to see the team continue to get stronger throughout the season.” Trina said.

The Saints are still a team without much experience. Three are the players accustomed to the pressure of competitive volleyball.

“I use bus wheels as an analogy,” said Coach Hively. “If you have three super strong wheels and two others that are only half pumped up and another that’s maybe 3/4, your bus isn’t going to drive that smoothly. We’re only as strong as the weakest player.”

 

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