Lady Blues volleyball ranked No. 6 nationally

Brian Dulle

There will be high expectations for this upcoming year’s Washburn Lady Blues volleyball team after being picked second in the MIAA preseason coaches’ poll and ranked No. 6 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association preseason coaches’ poll.

Junior right side hitter Breanna Lewis, who should play a big role in the teams success, is thrilled by the news. 

“It is very exciting to know people think we’re that good, but we need to be able to back it up,” said Lewis. “Anytime you’re ranked really high, people are going to come out and fight harder and we need to come out and play our best game all the time.  It’s going to be a tough time holding that spot but I think we can do it.”

During the 2009 season the team went 33-5 and are preparing for the 2010 season the same way they always do.

“Winning is an expectation,” said Chris Herron, head volleyball coach. “Our kids come to school here as recruits because they expect to win.  It’s about the mind-set of the player and if the mind-set of the player is not driven, then they do not play here.  They come in ready to win.”

The 2010 Lady Blues team is returning with most of the starters from last season except one and there are three freshman. 

With the loss of Kate Hampson, who finished her career as Washburn’s all time leader in assists and ranks second all time in the MIAA in career assists, the Lady Blues are preparing the new players to take her place.

“We do not worry about what we do not have but what we do have. It is not something we worry about, I would love to have Kate on the team every year, but I can’t,” said Herron.

The Lady Blues volleyball team has gone to the NCAA Tournament six years in a row and is looking for a seventh trip but according to Herron, it is not something they are even thinking about right now. 

“It is a team goal but we do not even think about it right now.  We only worry about what is tonight and then the next night, and then the NCAA tournament will take care of itself,” said Herron.

With the 2010 Lady Blues volleyball team being ranked No. 6 in the preseason poll, it’s a question of whether or not it will bring stress on the team.  According to Herron there is no pressure on the team this year. 

“We have been ranked so much, we have not even brought it up.  We do not talk about it at practice, it is just a rank.  It does not matter, it’s where we are at the end of the year that matters.”