The Lincoln County High volleyball team is hard at work preparing for the 2013 Division III volleyball season.

The Lincoln County High girls volleyball team huddles up during a recent practice. The Lady Lynx open the season on Aug. 30. (Courtesy photo)

The Lincoln County High volleyball team is hard at work preparing for the 2013 Division III volleyball season. The Lady Lynx lost three seniors to graduation after last season. Lincoln ended the 2012 season after entering the Division III League Tournament as the number four seed, with a loss to Calvary Chapel in the Semifinal game. This year the Lady Lynx have six players returning from last year, four of whom are seniors.

“This year we have a very competitive team, more so than I’ve seen in a long time,” said Lady Lynx Head Volleyball Coach Ken Thornock. “I usually try to keep nine to 10 on varsity. This year I’ve got 12 or 13 girls who can play and push each other, which is a really good thing. I, as a coach, have to be willing to play more bodies. I, like a lot of coaches, get into a tendency to get stuck with the lineup you like and stay that way. With more girls you have to be willing to change more things.”

When discussing the large group of younger athletes moving onto the team, Thornock responded, “We’ve got a good young bunch of girls coming up. The sophomore class has some of the best athletes that we have had in a long time. I anticipate that for the next three years we will be very competitive. We’re not small but we are not absolutely tall. We’ve got Kayla who’s tough in the middle, we’ve got Hafen who can possibly do a lot of good things in the middle as a sophomore; Tangie has some decent height, we are not small.”

When asked about the team goals for this season Thornock said, “We always have big goals and want to get to state. Last year realistically we were looking at getting to Divisions, the league was a pretty tough league last year. This year I feel like we are top two for sure. Calvary should be the dominant ones being tall, young and have a really big group returning a lot of players. I think that if we have a great attitude we are going to give them everything they want this year. “

A lot of the other schools have the benefit of their players participating in club volleyball. “Our kids are very athletic and a lot of them don’t specialize in one sport, they play it all. So they have to learn a lot of different skills. Volleyball is one of those sports where you have to develop a lot of different skills to play effectively,” said Thornock. “It will take us a good month to get into the rhythm and that will take us to the tournament in Boulder City. I’m hoping by that time we are seeing some real progress as far as what we can do. We go into that tournament right after playing at The Meadows and of course we are going to work for that the most and then we will continue on from there.”

In a year when most in Division III Southern Volleyball are picking Calvary Chapel to win it all and with tough teams in the division such as The Meadows, it just may be the job of the Lady Lynx to play spoiler this year. “Most everyone is picking Calvary to take it all but you know you can never rule out The Meadows. We’re going to just bring it out, work hard and do things right,” said Thornock.

The Lady Lynx open their 2012-13 season with The Meadows Invitational Tournament on Aug. 30 and 31. Division III Southern League play begins for Lincoln on Sept. 6, at home against Agassi Prep.