Laker volleyball team strong in ’08 |

Laker volleyball team strong in ’08

Seth Lightcap/Sierra SunNorth Tahoe senior Sydney Courcier digs an Incline serve in a Sept. 9 match. Courcier is one of three returning All-League players for the Lakers along with Kayla Baumgardner and Kelly Hester.

Like last year, and the year before and the year before that, the North Tahoe volleyball team boasts the height and athleticism to dominate any given front line.

“We’re tall again. North Tahoe is always tall,” said Tom LeFevers, the Lakers’ head coach of 13 years.

“Everybody has a great attitude, and we have a lot of good athletes,” the coach continued. “Our hitters should be strong and our blocking should be strong. We’ll see about the rest.”

So far so good in the Northern 2A, as the Lakers breezed past Basin rival Incline on Tuesday in three straight sets to open league play. It was a typical Laker win, with seniors Kayla Baumgardner and Sydney Courcier imposing their will to lead the way.

“At first I wasn’t expecting much, but the team has really meshed well, and every position filled in,” Courcier said. “I think it’s going to be a good year.”

With a full season of experience in their new league, the Lakers hope to play deep into the state tournament come November. Last year they lost to perennial power Whittell in the Northern 2A regional final before dropping out of the state tournament with a first-round loss to Needles.

That team finished 20-11 overall and 8-5 against 2A opponents, with seven of its nine players earning All-League recognition. LeFevers was voted Co-Coach of the Year.

Three All-League players return ” Baumgardner, Courcier and Kelly Hester ” while four were lost to graduation. Baumgardner, who is currently being recruited by Chico State and other colleges, was voted to the All-League first team in 2007. Hester made the second team and Courcier honorable mention.

“I think we have a pretty good team this year,” Hester said. “We’re getting along better the more we play together.

“Our hitters should be really good at carrying our team. Hopefully our passing will be good this year, too.”

Hester predicted Whittell and Incline would be the teams to beat. Her coach said he expects the 2A to be strong across the board, especially Whittell, Lovelock and Battle Mountain, and Baumgardner thinks it’s a toss-up ” at least in the North.

“They all may be pretty equal this year,” she said of the Lakers’ league foes. “We just have to support each other to build confidence, and I think we’ll be successful.”

The Lakers compete in the Hug Tournament in Reno on Saturday, then play at Whittell on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

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