Prep Volleyball: Lady Vols depending on their senior leadership

The Lee Williams High School volleyball team: (Front row, from left) Lorelei Fernandez, and Madison Arave. Middle row, from left: Khori Cobanovich, Bryce Shuffler, Tori Logan and Lanae Burgess. Back row, from left: coach Julia Lasiloo, Courtney Janney, Ashley Sahawneh, Ellie Thomas, Sadie Snay, ElizaTelford and Brittany Dollarhide.

Photo by Beau Bearden.

The Lee Williams High School volleyball team: (Front row, from left) Lorelei Fernandez, and Madison Arave. Middle row, from left: Khori Cobanovich, Bryce Shuffler, Tori Logan and Lanae Burgess. Back row, from left: coach Julia Lasiloo, Courtney Janney, Ashley Sahawneh, Ellie Thomas, Sadie Snay, ElizaTelford and Brittany Dollarhide.

KINGMAN – The Lee Williams High School volleyball team has high hopes for 2017. With six returners highlighted by a strong senior class, Lady Volunteers head coach Julia Lasiloo knows the vast experience will lead to a successful season.

“It’s going to be a great year for us,” she said. “During the week of tryouts, the seniors stepped up and were just amazing. They did everything I asked – being supportive and helping the younger girls.”

Lasiloo added that she is excited about building an amazing program, which she feels is starting at all three levels.

But the senior leadership will be the focus this season.

“Our five seniors are just going to blow up everywhere,” Lasiloo said. “We have our back row girls, they dig up everything. Our setter, Sadie Snay, is going to be amazing. Our hitters, we’re going to get some work done and we’ll be competing with those teams that we kind of fell behind to last year.”

The Lady Vols finished 3-9 in 4A Grand Canyon last season, but they’re poised for a breakout season.

“Our whole league – Coconino, Bradshaw Mountain and Flagstaff – they’re big hitters,” Lasiloo said. “We came out strong in those games last year. We have some good all-around players this year and I’m excited for our league games. We’re going to compete with them. It’s going to be great.”

While Lasiloo looks forward to the region matches, she knows the season opener Aug. 29 at Lake Havasu City will be a good early test.

“I want to see how well we come out against them,” she said. “How well the season goes is how well we click because everyone here is up to par. Everybody has an amazing skill level. So the Lake Havasu game is going to be great to see where everyone fits in.”

Only time will tell how the Lady Vols mesh together as the season progresses, but there is an area that will be instrumental in that success.

“Our communication is the biggest thing with five new girls,” Lasiloo said. “Just getting back to clicking as a team and making sure the freshmen on the team aren’t scared to play and they play up to their ability. I feel the biggest struggle is just everyone playing together.”

If Lee Williams can find that team bond and play as one, there’s no question it can improve on last season. The five seniors should definitely help that cause and Lasiloo knows how important they are after spending the last three seasons with her.

“It’s amazing because they know me and I know them,” Lasiloo said. “I know what triggers them, what makes them play hard and what can help. We work well together and I’m excited for it.”