The Lady Lancers are off to a good start on the volleyball court currently ranked 8th in division 4. Here are a couple of articles done on the Lady Lancers earlier this year.
No Seniors, No Problem for Oakland Christian Volleyball
In most sports, roster turnover plays a big role in the year-to-year challenges for a coach.
It’s not often in high school sports that a coach has two years to work with the same roster. It’s even more rare that they would have three years to do so.
Dan Willson is one of the fortunate few to be in that position….Read More
Hopkins Embraces Being a Young Leader for Oakland Christian
By Drew Ellis
Leadership roles aren’t often given to sophomores.
Katie Hopkins didn’t have much choice.
In 2018, the Oakland Christian volleyball team found itself with a roster comprised of three sophomores and five freshmen. As the team’s setter, Hopkins was an obvious choice to be a vocal leader for the Lancers.
“We have four captains, but Katie is really our captain’s captain. She’s a tremendous leader on the court and she leads by example with her work ethic,” Oakland Christian coach Dan Wilson said. “She is in this gym 300 days a year practicing with her club or with her team. Before school starts, she is in the gym working on her setting and serving. She puts the net up herself to work on her game. You can really see how much she has improved since she was a freshman, it is really amazing.”
Hopkins was forced into a leadership role as a sophomore, but she wasn’t afraid to take it on, embracing the chance to keep the young team as a strong, cohesive unit.
“I think being a leader as a sophomore has helped because we know the challenges the younger girls have right now and we can just be encouraging and help them through those tough moments,” Hopkins said. “We’ve been a close team the last year and we want that to continue with the new freshmen that have come in. We want this team to be a family and for everyone to feel like they are part of the team and that they can be a vocal leader.”
The Lancers put up an impressive 30-13-3 record in 2018, winning another MIAC Red title in the process. Hopkins was an All-League setter by putting up 684 assists, 70 aces and 84 kills. Her fellow sophomore teammates also earned All-League honors as outside Kaylee Page had 332 kills and 45 aces while libero Hailee Ide had 467 digs and 100 aces. Ide was named All-State Honorable Mention in Division 4 as well.
“There wasn’t a lot that was being expected of us last year, so I think that really made us want to prove everyone wrong,” Hopkins said. “We wanted to have fun as a team, which we did, because we all wanted to show that we deserved to be on the court and we could play as hard as anyone. I was really proud of how we played last year.”
In the 2018 postseason, the Lancers suffered a five-set loss to Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, 25-21, 20-25, 17-25, 25-15, 15-10. This year’s team expects a stronger postseason run this year as they continue to get better from the team they were last November.
“We are just looking to build off of last year,” Hopkins said of the 2019 season. “With nobody leaving, we just want to keep the strong chemistry we have as a team and keep getting better. I think it’s going to be a great year for us. I am excited to see what we can do.”
While Hopkins has two more years of prep play ahead of her, she also is focused on being a collegiate player. Wilson wasn’t sure if that was possible when she first joined the team, but he sees that very differently now.
“She’s not a tall setter. She’s 5’5”, 5’6”, but she’s the hardest-working athlete I have seen,” Wilson said. “She’s had a goal to play in college and I didn’t know if that was realistic given her size, but she is well on her way now. She’s got colleges looking at her now. She is a special player.”
Oakland Christian opens the season on Saturday when it hosts its own eight-team tournament.