The Lady Magicians volleyball team at LeMoyne-Owen College recently hosted a cluster of games – the first played on campus since November 2019.
The games played Sept. 9-11 were part of a pod system that is being used this season with the goal of playing multiple games at one site in a condensed season.
The LOC team took the court against Spring Hill College (0-3), Tuskegee University (0-3) and Kentucky State University (1-3), coming up winless during the tournament.
Coach Reginald Morris, the 2017 SIAC coach of the year, has a very young team – including 8 freshmen – facing the challenge of developing team chemistry. The regular rotation mostly features five freshmen and three juniors.
Picked to finish fourth in the western division of the SIAC in preseason polls, LOC’s key returning players include N’Kechinyere Egbe and Kaylyn Howard.
Morris reflecting on challenges after a season lost to the pandemic.
“Conditioning number one and after having this year off and trying to get them back focused and dealing with the adversity of not being able to play,” he said.
“Now that we are playing, we are picking up other issues like stress and other things.”
As for the new pod system, Morris said it is “going pretty good. It is about keeping your team safe and together. Playing the games in a compact season hurts you, because we are trying to get 20-30 games played in two months. That could be challenging from a physical and mental point of view.”
The Lady Magicians (1-7, 1-3 conference) will continue play throughout the months of September and October, with the season set to conclude with the SIAC tournament the first week in November.
The venue for the tournament has yet to be determined.
The Lady Magicians will not be home again until September 0 when they face Fisk University at 6 p.m.