Volleyball looks to protect home court against Denison


Grace Nguyen

Junior Ellie Jonke extends to tip the ball over the net.

Ryan Wang, Staff Writer

With four more games left in district, the volleyball (37-5 overall, 6-0 district) team will be looking to maintain their unbeaten record before shifting its focus to playoffs. The Leopards will be playing the Denison Yellow Jackets (13-23 overall, 1-5 district) on Friday at home at 5:30 p.m.

“We have been focusing on improving our first touch, so we can be more consistent,” senior Emma Johnson said.  “We’ve been pretty locked in and focused in practice, which is putting us in a good position to improve as playoffs are coming closer.”

Denison’s only district win this season came in a home match against Sherman, who is currently winless in district. The Leopards have maintained a 5-1 record for home matches this season, while Denison have an away record of 7-1. 

We are playing well on offense and connecting well with our setters,” head coach Ryan Mitchell said. “This is our second time around for district, and we are working on our serving extra hard.” 

The Leopards played the Wylie East Raiders on Tuesday in a home match where they won in three sets. The Raiders scored 50 kills during the match, while the Leopards tallied 75 kills. Lovejoy kept the Raiders to only eight kills in the first set. The win boosted Lovejoy to be ranked third in state, and 12th nationally. 

“We are playing really well in set one and then we let down a bit in set two and allow teams to get in the match,” Mitchell said. “Our first touch has got to get better, which means our serves and serve receive.”

The Leopards also defeated current district runner-ups McKinney North in a 3-1 match that was decided in the fourth set. Lovejoy took the lead in the first set after keeping the Bulldogs to only eight kills. McKinney North won the second set 25-22, but Lovejoy went on to win the third set, and finally the decisive fourth set in overtime to win the match. 

Next week, the team will be facing off against the Sherman Bearcats in a Tuesday home match at 6:30 p.m.