LEE’S SUMMIT — It has been a stellar start to the season for Liberty this year. The volleyball team has begun 9-0 with a win over the top-ranked team in Kansas, Olathe Northwest, last week. They added to their win total Tuesday, Sept. 6, by sweeping Lee’s Summit 25-19, 25-15 and 25-16.
The win against Lee’s Summit comes on the heels of a Labor Day weekend trip to Orlando, Florida. The Blue Jays were jam-packed with activities and games as they visited the southern city on Friday, Sept. 2. Head coach April Fleming explained how important it is for her team to remember that playing volleyball isn’t a job, but still a fun high school experience.
“It’s the beginning of the season and traveling as a team, doing so much allows kids to form a better bond,” Fleming said. “It helps start the season off the right way. We had zero downtime, playing games and then going to the parks.”
The Blue Jays went undefeated in Orlando as they played top teams from around the country. Liberty’s Ashley Mullen was named the tournament MVP and the Blue Jays secured the KSA Volleyball Tournament Championship.
Along with the wins, memories were made at Disney World and in simple ways, such as sharing a meal, according to Fleming.
“This is a team sport and you don’t want your team to be strangers,” Fleming explained. “We want them to have a good bond. Whenever you do have a good bond, it shows on the court.”
The cohesion was on display against the Tigers on Tuesday night. There were some miscues, but that’s normal in any athletic competition. Once a missed serve or mistake occurred, the Blue Jays were there to build one another up and focus on the next point ahead.
UCLA-commit Mullen looked the part of a top volleyball player. Her setting ability was impressive as she was able to surprise Lee’s Summit all evening. Liberty’s Aisha Aiono was on the receiving end of Mullen’s sets. This week, Aiono committed to Kansas to play college volleyball. Their partnership was key in the victory and will be an important part of the team’s offense this season.
Final Set 3: Liberty 25-16 Lee’s SummitBlue Jays stayed undefeated on the season. Over the weekend, they came off a 4-0 performance in Orland, Florida.More on that trip and tonight’s game in Thursday’s edition of the @myctsportspic.twitter.com/Q7I8bHtGw9
“A lot of them are self-motivated, they are extremely dedicated to the sport,” Fleming said about her team. “They are winners and they have learned how to win under pressure. That type of experience will be huge for us.”
The Blue Jays’ first home match is against Park Hill on Thursday, Sept. 8.
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