MORGANTOWN — Trinity Christian volleyball coach Sarah Lasher is all about intensity.
It’s not uncommon to see her players walking out of the gym on a summer evening drenched in sweat. If they aren’t, Lasher probably isn’t satisfied with the effort they gave.
In her second year of coaching last fall, Lasher saw the level of competition her team needed to rise to as the Warriors made a tremendous postseason run to earn second in the region and come up just one win short of the state tournament.
Now, the Warriors are hitting the court during the WVSSAC three-week summer practices, and Lasher is focused on bringing out a faster pace of play in her team than she saw last year.
“I would say we’re just working hard and getting as many touches as possible right now,” she said. “We’re trying to play high-intensity, fast-paced, competitive volleyball to prepare for the sectional and regional competition.”
The results of last fall were a pleasant surprise for Lasher, who fielded a team with no seniors on the roster. This year, six seniors will see action for the Warriors, with another year of experience under their belts.
After seeing what her team achieved last season, Lasher has high expectations as her team prepares for the preseason.
“If we’ve done something once, I want to see us go further,” she said.
Lasher’s athletes are certainly invested in making that expectation a reality. According to senior Rachel Rosen, the Warriors are using their summer practices to dial in every facet of their game possible.
“We need to continue to work on specialty hits and things that will improve our game offensively,” she said. “We also want to work on our defense and moving our feet to become a more well-rounded team.”
Based on the level of play during the summer sessions, Trinity senior Kate Dlugos expects that Lasher’s goals aren’t outside the realm of possibility. She expects the Warriors could make a run to Charleston in pursuit of a state title.
“We’ve been trying to grow in all aspects of the sport,” she said after a Wednesday evening workout with the Warriors. “I think can make it to the regional final, and possibly go to states with the intensity we’ve been demonstrating.”
It helps that Lasher and her current senior class are spending their third year together, which has formed a bond between everyone in the program.
“We’ve created a really strong bond together between the teammates and coaches,” Dlugos said.
Lasher said developing with the team over the past few years has been a pleasure, and she is excited to see what they can do as seniors.
“I feel like we’ve grown together — me as a coach and them as players,” Lasher said. “Now, we want the focus to be on them going out their senior year and having fun.”
Assistant coach Sydney Leatherman thinks if the workouts are an enjoyable environment, it will better foster motivation for the team.
“We try to keep it fun first, but always competitive,” she said.