Coming off its deepest playoff run in program history, Mansfield Lake Ridge volleyball has its sights set on the school’s first state championship. For two Lady Eagles players, a state title would fit nicely alongside their national title.
Logyn Hinds and Madison Williams, both sophomores for the 2017 season, recently earned gold at the 2017 Girls Junior National Championships. The duo competed with Texas Advantage Volleyball’s 15 Black squad, which won the Girls Open division.
“I knew that if we played consistently that we definitely could,” said Hinds, a first-team all-district performer last season as a freshman. “It’s just the best feeling in the world. We got up like nine points [in the final] and we knew, just keep going, just keep going.”
The club actually lost its opening match of the tournament in pool play but then won 10 consecutive matches, sweeping nine of them.
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“We were in a sticky situation,” Hinds said of losing the opening match. “We had to win the rest, so our focus was much better the rest of that day of pool play. We knew we had to win or we were out. I think it was mostly nerves. We were very tense and we weren’t playing to win, we were playing scared.”
There are a lot more pieces in high school that go along with it. It’s not just playing. There’s learning the traditions of the school, for example.
Logyn Hinds on the difference between club and high school play
TAV Black rolled through the remaining matches, including the final, besting a team from Kansas 25-19, 25-13.
Hinds is still working with TAV over the summer, but admits she’s looking forward to the upcoming high school season, in part because she plays a different role on the court for the Lady Eagles. While a defensive specialist for TAV, she sets for Lake Ridge.
“I like seeing different aspects of the game, and setting and DS are a lot different, she said. “We may be running a 5-1 this year, so that’s really exciting.”
And of course, it helps that she has familiarity with Williams, her teammate in club and school.
“I already have one hitter I know.”
It’s also exciting for Lake Ridge coach Jessica Tyler to have two dynamic underclassmen. Despite being sophomores, they’ll be seasoned veterans for the Lady Eagles, and the experience at nationals in Minnesota ensures no stage in high school will be too big.
“[The varsity experience last season] was really valuable,” Hinds said. “The girls took me and Madison in. There are a lot more pieces in high school that go along with it. It’s not just playing. There’s learning the traditions of the school, for example. We know all that now, so this year me and Madison can step up and be leaders.”
Lake Ridge begins camp Aug. 1, and there’s no denying the ambitions of this squad, which reached the fourth round of the playoffs a year ago.
“During the offseason, our main focus was to get further than we did last year,” Hinds said. “I think that’s motivation, for sure. In that playoff game [last year], we were really nervous because we’d never been that far. Next year, we’ll know what happens and all that.”
“I’m really excited for the high school season because I’m ready to win state. I think we have the pieces this year. If we train hard and all that, we can do it.”