Lady Highlanders refreshed and ready
By Shanin Thomas
La Habra Journal
The La Habra High School Lady Highlanders have adjusted as a team and coaching staff while looking forward to a new, competitive season.
Head Coach Adrianne Spear referred to the program, new coaches, and varsity team as “exciting.”
“We have some young, new additions that bring some depth to the team,” she said. “But I can tell the team is just a bunch of fighters. I am excited to see what they can do.”
Spear said there were quite a few girls at the training camp this summer; And she said some unexpected players brought talent to tryouts this year.
With a handful of her team graduating after last season, Spear said was able to carefully choose her fairly, young varsity team soon after.
“Now it is just a matter of me putting the pieces together,” she said.
After taking second in the Freeway League last season, the Lady Highlanders are looking to build on that success with new members of the team.
Although there are seven returners, the team is suffering a big loss of two middles and a setter.
Spear also has to work around a couple of injuries.
Marisa Spear, outside hitter and defensive specialist, has just began practicing again after knee surgery and Kimberly Gamez, also an outside hitter, is quickly healing from a broken bone in her foot.
Fortunately, Senior Casey Lunceford had experience in the setter position last season and is expected to lead the team this year.
She is solid all the way around, Coach Spear said of Lunceford. “I expect her to lead on and off the court.”
Marisa Spear, senior, and Marina Pilkington, junior, are also expected to be experienced leaders in a competitive league.
Spear said this year the freeway league will be highly competitive.
“We have a strong league with strong teams,” she said. “It will be interesting,” she said. “Troy, Fullerton, and Sonora will be tough. Sunny Hills and Buena Park will also be competitive.”
Some changes have been made in the coaching staff for this upcoming season. Janisa Johnson is expected to be the assistant coach for the varsity team. Johnson is a volleyball alumnus from Long Beach State and is heading into her professional career.
According to Spear, Johnson has great experience and training. “She brings something different to the team.”
More changes in the coaching staff continue on the junior varsity level. Roxanne Sahagian has been given the opportunity to use her passion and personality to help the JV volleyball team to victory.
Furthermore, two players from La Serna High School have transferred over to compete for the Lady Highlanders varsity team this season.
The Highlanders first match is against Brea Olinda High School on Sept. 3 and Freeway League competition begins the first week of October.
“It can be any one’s game this year and it has not been like that in a while,” Spear said. “I expect my team to play hard and leave it out on the court every time.”