The Southeast Lancers are back in the Class 3A state volleyball tournament for a second consecutive year, entering play Friday as the No. 2 overall seed on the strength of their 35-5 overall record.

The Southeast Lancers are back in the Class 3A state volleyball tournament for a second consecutive year, entering play Friday as the No. 2 overall seed on the strength of their 35-5 overall record.

“We have high expectations as a team,” first-year Southeast head coach Maya White said before the season. “They want to do better than we did last year. They’re good at pushing themselves. They’ve been self-motivated.

“They did Fort Scott Summer League and they came in and did weights on their own. We did Pitt State team volleyball camp and we had never done that before. They learned a lot and they got a bit out of their comfort zone.”

The Lancers have a strong core of senior players — Bridget McGuire, Christine Bone, Ashley Martin, Shiloh Blockburger and Kayla Yancey — with younger players like sophomore Amy Martin and freshman Olivia Powell at the center of the mix.

“We have 14 freshmen coming in, which is the biggest freshman class since I’ve been here,” White said. “It will be exciting to see what they do and we have a lot of juniors. We’re just waiting to see who steps up.”

Volleyball teams are often celebratory on the court, inventing cheers and dances like their own cheerleaders during a match. The Lancers have that celebratory element, but they also make a point of communicating with each other about their opponent.

“Yeah, they do a really good job of knowing what’s open and talking to each other,” White said after Southeast swept St. Paul, Columbus and Frontenac in a home quadrangular. “We’ve stressed communication and they do a good job at it. Each team plays a slightly different defense and we try to figure out which defense they’re playing.”

Southeast finished in a three-way tie with Frontenac and Girard for the CNC League volleyball crown, all with 6-1 records as Frontenac beat Girard, Girard beat Southeast and Southeast beat Frontenac.

On the season, McGuire has 655 assists, 139 digs, 100 kills, 60 aces and 10 blocks, going over 100 in three major statistical categories.

Bone leads the Lancers with 227 kills and 63 blocks. Powell has 195 kills, 123 digs and 63 aces. Amy Martin has 194 kills and 156 digs. Defensive specialist Ashley Martin leads with 213 digs and contributes 56 aces. Blockburger adds 55 kills, 54 aces, 31 digs, 18 assists and 12 blocks. Tessa Robin has 82 kills, 30 digs, 25 blocks and 14 aces.

Southeast’s only losses came against Erie (25-12, 22-25, 22-25), Metro Academy of Shawnee Mission (25-19, 23-25, 20-25), Girard (21-25, 27-25, 25-27), Wichita Defenders (19-25, 23-25) and Notre Dame de Sion of Kansas City, Mo. (10-25, 12-25).
On the volleyball team’s page at the USD 247 site, there’s a note in all capital letters: THERE WILL BE NO SCHOOL FRIDAY TO ALLOW AND ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO ATTEND THE STATE TOURNAMENT.

Class 3A State Volleyball
Friday, Oct. 28 — Pool II (Bottom Bracket)
at Salina Bicentennial Center
No. 2 — Southeast (35-5)
No. 7 — Nemaha Valley (23-16)
No. 3 — Phillipsburg (34-6)
No. 6 — Marysville (26-14)
Court B
Southeast vs. Nemaha Valley, 8:30 a.m.
Southeast vs. Marysville, 10:30 a.m.
Southeast vs. Phillipsburg, 1:30 p.m.