Volleyball prepares for district play


Lizzie Bumbarger, Guest Reporter

Big Spring Volleyball had a knockout season this year, ending the regular season with a 14-5 record, placing themselves as third in the Mid-Penn Capital division and securing themselves as the 12th seed in the District Three playoffs. Some highlights include wins over rival schools Boiling Springs and Shippensburg, a win over Northern, and two outside hitters reaching and surpassing 100 kills. But even though the regular season is winding to a close, the hype for districts is just beginning. This Saturday, they will take on Brandywine Heights, the 5th seed, at Lower Dauphin High School at 4:30 pm. This is the team’s second year in District Playoffs, in which this year’s varsity team is attempting to beat last year’s record. In the 2015 season they were eliminated in the first round after losing to York Suburban.

Outside hitter Sydni Lehman is a senior this year and prepared to take on districts at full speed. Lehman is one of the two hitters on the team reaching 100 kills this season (the other being Megan Emlet). She has an outstanding record of 109 kills, 38 service aces, and 8 blocks. This is Lehman’s second year in districts, but her first year as an outside hitter, as she made the switch from middle hitter at the beginning of the season. Lehman has been earning her keep as an outside hitter and claims “We’re ready to kill it at districts.”

Junior Madison Gutshall spends her time on the court as a middle hitter, and is a force to be reckoned with. Gutshall earned 5 kills in a game against Shippensburg alone and is ready to show her skills at districts. Gutshall often finds herself in practice with winning on her mind, saying  “If we win on Saturday, we advance to Tuesday’s round. If we win that game we go to States.” This may be Gutshall’s first year on varsity, but she is prepared to work for results.  “In practices we have been focusing on things each individual player needs to work on, and how to translate it into success for the game. We have focused on our defense primarily, and we have also put work into our hitters placing the ball into open spots. We always work hard at practices during the regular season, but ultimately the motivation is at an all time high because we have to work hard in the two hour practices we have.”

Standing at an impressive 5’11”, senior middle hitter Jenna Kurtz, also known as “Juicy J”, plans to bring the fire to district playoffs. Kurtz has a hefty record of 20 service aces, 73 kills, and 19 blocks, earning 12 of those kills in a division game against James Buchanan alone. Kurtz is beyond excited to get another shot at districts before her graduation, saying “We are so glad to have another opportunity to play in districts for the second year in a row. We’re confident in our abilities and are ready to come home with a win against Brandywine Heights!”

This year, the Varsity Volleyball team hopes to boost the support at their games, posting all over social media in attempts to create hype for the upcoming district game. Girl’s volleyball is usually overlooked in the grand scheme of fall sports, but attendance at the upcoming game may change that.