Ike volleyball ready to host
At least two members of the Eisenhower volleyball team leapt in the air upon learning news that the Lady Eagles would be hosting a regional tournament Tuesday.
"It was in between classes when I found out," Ike head coach Becky Martin said. "I was standing in the hallway at my door and I found out and I jumped up and everything went flying out of my pockets. I was pretty excited."
And a similar reaction from senior Micah Bell-Boehme.
"I jumped. I was overwhelmed," Bell-Boehme said. "I never saw that coming."
It's the first time in 20 years that one of the Lawton high schools is hosting a regional volleyball tournament. For the Lady Eagles, it shows just how far the program has come over the years as they eye their first state tournament appearance in school history.
"This is very deserving for these guys," Martin said. "They've been working hard all year, they've been faced with a lot of challenges this year not having starters every game. Out of 30 games, we've probably had five or six games that we had all six starters on the floor at the same time. That shows you how the kids have pulled together. Kids that don't normally start or had limited playing time had to step up and we still won. I'm so proud of them."
Martin says she's been most impressed about this team's resiliency and resourcefulness in dealing with shorthanded lineups throughout the season. It's meant that nonstarters have had to step up but also some of the key players like Brooke Bross and Tavai Ieremia have had to remain in top form while sometimes playing out of position.
One of the instances in which Eisenhower's lineup was depleted was in the Chickasha tournament championship match. Despite being without both senior starting middle hitters Crystal Polk and Malaysia McCollum, the Lady Eagles defeated Southeast 2-1 to capture the tournament championship.
That win is relevant now that Class 5A No. 12 Southeast (24-5) will likely be the toughest competition for No. 5 Eisenhower (24-6) at regionals.
"I haven't seen El Reno this year but I know with their record and who've they played, I expect that if we play like we should, that shouldn't be a problem," Martin said. "We have played Southeast and beat them in the Chickasha finals. We played our worst game of the season the first set and they beat us 25-11. So they're capable, if we don't play, of beating us. Then the next two games, we beat them 25-4 and 15-3. It's crazy that you can get beat that bad and then turn around and clobber them but that's a good confidence boost. If we play like we're capable of, and we'll have everybody here too, we should be fine."