Dietz records 600 wins, nears 400 victories at LLCC

Women's 2017 Volleyball Team

Women's 2017 Volleyball Team

Women's 2017 Volleyball Team

Gracie Schweighart, Staff Writer

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SPRINGFIELD – The 2017 season for the nationally ranked Lincoln Land Loggers volleyball team is off to a strong start.  The Loggers opened up their season with a 3-2 victory over nationally ranked Cowley County and have been firing on all cylinders since.  

With seven returning sophomores and seven freshmen, the Loggers are sitting at a record of 15-5 so far this season.   

Also returning to the 2017 campaign is head coach Jim Dietz, who happened to reach his 600th win overall as a head coach against Kirkwood Community College on September 22nd.  Coach Dietz has had a whirlwind of emotions as he closes in on win number 400 at Lincoln Land.  

Dietz also holds the Lincoln Land Community College volleyball win record with an overall record of 388-140.

“The wins themselves generally blur together.”  Coach Dietz’s current and former players would say differently though.  “The girls will tell you I can remember something about all of the matches or tournaments they have played in.”

Coach Dietz has led the Loggers to the national tournament in multiple seasons, finishing runner-up the past two years.   

“Leadership is always interesting,” Coach Dietz said.  “Last year, we had a couple of forceful personalities with our sophomores.”  

This year, the sophomore Loggers have taken a different leadership approach.  “Our sophomores this year work through collaboration and consensus.”  Because of this, the Lady Logger volleyball team has been able to come together as a whole – allowing them to have such a great start to the 2017 season.

Sophomore Kiersten Anderson returns following an outstanding freshman year.  Anderson is a 2016 graduate of Lutheran High School here in Springfield, Illinois.  

During her high school volleyball career, she was named to the Champaign News-Gazette All-State team and was an all-conference and all-area selection following multiple seasons.

After her freshman year at LLCC, she was named MWAC Freshman of the Year, all-MWAC, All-Region, and all-American.  She was also the only freshmen selected to the All-National Tournament team.

“We saw the drive in last year’s sophomores to work hard in order to get back to nationals,” Anderson said.  “Going to nationals and seeing what can happen with hard work is a lesson that I hope the other sophomores and I have instilled in the freshmen.”  

Anderson, along with the other sophomores, have been striving to use their experience and lessons they learned from last year in order for their team to continue to be successful.  They have done a fantastic job thus far.    

Freshman Delaney Edwards, another Springfield area alum, has adapted well to the shift from high school level volleyball to playing for the nationally ranked Loggers.  She says that the sophomore leadership has been extremely helpful in making the transition much easier.

“The sophomores have been a big part of how I have developed as a volleyball player throughout this year,” Edwards said.  “They’ve also made it easier for me to adapt to new people and new situations.”  

Edwards, a graduate of Williamsville high school, was a three-year starter for her high-school volleyball team and earned all-conference honors her senior year.  

For Edwards, her mental aspect of the game has changed throughout the beginning of her freshman year at LLCC.

“Looking back to where I, personally, started to now, there has been a big change in the mentality I have and how the speed of the game has changed.”

Learning a new defense and playing with a brand new team can be tough, but the Logger volleyball freshman has not skipped a beat.  As a 5-7 outside hitter, Edwards has continued to play as large of a role for the Loggers as she did this time last year for Williamsville.   

As the Loggers are nearing the last full month of their season, winning games against region foes are extremely important for their postseason rankings.

Both Anderson and Edwards agree that one of the main priorities for the rest of this season is to take it one game at a time.  The overall goal is to make it to nationals and come home with a national championship.  After finishing runner-up the past two years, the Loggers are more determined than ever before.  According to Anderson, “Third time’s a charm.”

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Dietz records 600 wins, nears 400 victories at LLCC