Review of Lanier’s Volleyball season

Lanier+Volleyball+team+before+the+start+of+a+match.

Michelle McLean

Lanier Volleyball team before the start of a match.

Volleyball is a fall favorite here at Lanier, and we were sad to see the 2021-2022 season come to a close. Overall, the girls had an eventful ride, not winning as many games as they had hoped, but still finishing the season with 19 wins and 29 losses. Their official season began in early August where they went to three sets with Lumpkin County, a non-region team based out of Dahlonega, and secured their first victory. As the season progressed and the girls played more games, the team experienced ups and downs, from athletes coming and going due to season-ending injuries. The most detrimental injury the team experienced this year was about halfway through the season at a game against Hebron Christian Academy where Bailey Bradford, senior, broke her hand blocking a ball coming from the outside. Both Bailey’s season and the game came to an end after the incident as they lost 15 to 8 in the third set. Although for the remainder of the season, the team did not have Bailey on the court offensively, they had her spirit and energy on the bench. After the Hebron match, they were able to win seven out of the 11 games they played to finish out their regular season, one being a region win against Winder- Barrow.

When asked for his feedback on the season, the head coach, Walter Deppe, shared some very inspiring words, “Overall, the girls had a challenging season both mentally and physically. We did not perform as well as we planned, but I am very proud of the way we persevered through the tough times. At the end of the day, the girls stuck together and supported each other, which is great to see as a coach.” He proceeded by saying, “Plus, we have so much talent, so I enjoyed watching some dang good volleyball throughout the season.”

Following the regular season were the region tournaments. Lanier walked into regions playing Winder-Barrow at home, once again. With the support of the Herd, the girls were able to defeat them in five vigorous sets, which eliminated Winder’s chance at making the playoffs. As the fourth seed in their division, Lanier advanced to the next session of regions where they played Buford at Buford High School. With the home advantage, Buford was able to take home a victory against Lanier in only three sets. Since the girls endured a tough loss to Buford, their last step of regions was to play the loser of the Dacula and Habersham Central game. As expected, Habersham lost to Dacula and became Lanier’s next opponent. Their region tournament had an unfortunate ending as they lost to Habersham in four sets, making them the last seed in their division. Unlike Winder-Barrow, though, Lanier still had a shot at the first round of playoffs.

For Lanier’s fourth consecutive year at state, they played Pope High School, a private school based out of Marietta. Pope’s volleyball program was ranked eighth in the state of Georgia; therefore, the game went similarly to that of the Buford match. Lanier lost the first two sets, which gave Pope momentum as they went into the third set and won the match. Unfortunately, this loss hit the girls harder than usual because not only did it end their season, but it was also the last time the senior players and managers would ever step foot on a court for Lanier Volleyball. Although the team was not advancing to the second round of playoffs and the emotions were high, the game still resulted in many accomplishments. To start, Kate Scheessele, junior, broke the school record for the number of single season kills with a whopping 378. Selma Mehic, also a junior, broke the school record for single season blocks with 109 touches. Lastly, the defensive force, Reign Jarin, broke the school record for the number of single season digs with 413 saves. In an overview, the girls had an eventful season, and they were able to meet many individual and team goals. We can’t wait to see what Lanier Volleyball has in store for next season!