Murray Volleyball On An UpswingDec 05, 2014 12:43PM ● By Michelle Bodkin
Spartans volleyball saw improvement this past season which is something they hope to build on for next year. Photo courtesy of Lindsay Luthy
Murray women’s volleyball has struggled for a few years now, but under new coach Lindsay Luthy they have seen massive improvement. The Spartans had a chance this season to come in second in their region, but ultimately fell to fifth place. However, the race between second and fifth place was so tight in Murray’s region this year that Luthy feels good about the progress made and sees good things in their future.
“We were pretty proud of our season,” she said. “Basically, the last three teams were tied either for second place or fifth place so we ended up in fifth place. We were one loss away from going to state and one loss away from possibly taking second place. Kind of bummed we didn’t make it to state. We were hoping to make it this year, but I think the girls learned a lot and progressed in their skills. In that way, it was successful.”
One of the keystones for Murray’s improved season was senior hitter Lexi Davies who consequently will be playing at the collegiate level next year.
“She actually has a scholarship for UVU,” Luthy said of Davies. “She was a great leader, an awesome team captain and was able to keep the girls excited and energetic and focused when we needed it. She’s a great player and has a lot of skill.”
Going forward, Murray will now need to rely on its up-and-coming talent, but Luthy doesn’t think that will be an issue.
“We have a strong group of juniors this year,” she said. “As far as hitting, we have Kelsey Murray who is coming up and she’s a great hitter. Much shorter than Lexi but still a very strong hitter. She’s got amazing awareness of her court and where she is. If the ball is set off a little bit, she’s able to adjust really well to the ball and still put it where she wants it. We are excited and hope she will develop in club over the summer and then next year come out and be our strong hitter.”
Next year, Luthy feels continuing to develop mental toughness in her girls will go a long way in helping them take that next step of making the playoffs.
“We really wanted to focus on making sure these girls had mental toughness out there so that when they are two points down or game point away that they can buckle down,” Luthy said. “We want them to be mentally tough. There were times in the season where we would be 24 or 19, and all it took was one point, and we just didn’t put it down. I think that is something we would like to focus on next year. That competitive drive.”
Murray’s team got along extremely well this past season, and Luthy thinks that is a big reason they were so successful. She also said that’s not necessarily an easy feat with girls this age, but is very proud of the conscious effort everyone made to be good teammates.
“The girls really click together. They work well together,” she said. “There was no—you know with girls you can sometimes get a little catty or petty, cliquey, leaving girls out. I think they were really good about being a good team and being good to each other—being accepting and inclusive which is incredibly important in a team.”
Luthy wants to let girls currently coming through junior high know how fun volleyball is and that they are always looking for athletic and driven girls for the team.
“We would like to get some girls interested in volleyball,” she said. “Volleyball is not one of those sports where you think, ‘Oh, I want to be that,’ but it’s such a fun, fun sport.”