by: Lissett Garcia
During the season with both losses and wins, Lee County High School head volleyball coach Cindy Kelly managed to have a team full of high energy.
“Honestly, they do it themselves,” Kelly said. “These girls love each other and they love to be with each other, so they motivate themselves.”
The Yellow Jackets (12-9) are preparing for a second round state playoff matchup at First Flight High School (15-7) on Tuesday. The bonds built throughout the season helped the team win it’s first state playoff game since 2015. LCHS went to Terry Sanford on Saturday and swept the Bulldogs 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-21).
“Most of these girls have played together since sixth grade,” Kelly said. “They’ve played at their schools, club ball and even rec, so they are really pretty close. I think it’s what makes them play well together.”
Despite losing two out of three to open the Sandhills Athletic Conference season, the Lady Jackets have won four of their last five games to make it to the second round of the NCHSAA state tournament. Kelly says the improvement started in practices.
“These ladies have been working hard during our practices,” Kelly said. Since the first conference game we have improved in our defense and serving, and we’re still working on our blocking.
“I think with how much we practice, I really think we can change it and go out there and win” Kelly added.
Kelly says it is the bond the team has formed that will push them further into the state playoffs.
“They love to be around each other,” she said. “They have fun on and off the court and those relationships make all the difference.”
The Yellow Jackets and First Flight’s first serve is at 5 p.m. Tuesday.