It’s been an interesting season for the Highland Baptist Lady Bears volleyball team.
The transition season into the Louisiana High School Athletic Association has produced only three wins, but has also recharged the team with a definite step up in competition that the squad has enjoyed, according to HBCS volleyball coach Brigette Boudreaux.
“We have so many new players that I don’t think they know the difference,” said Boudreaux. “But the ones who have been here have said the competition is tougher, which makes it more exciting because they have to play harder. And that’s made it more fun this year.”
Among those players experiencing the highs and lows of the season is senior Hannah Davidson, the Lady Bears outside hitter.
Davidson has been in the forefront of the transition into the LHSAA, taking over as senior leader and providing a template for future leaders to see and copy after she leaves this year.
“I love it,” said Davidson about the transition. “It’s been a great experience. We’ve definitely been working hard to live up to the standards and I think that it’s starting to pay off.
“We may not be winning right now, but we’re getting so much better.”
Davidson said the biggest difference between the Christian school league and the LHSAA has been the level of competition and the fact that the games are tougher. But aside from the losses this year, Highland has lost 14 games against only three wins with roughly three weeks left in the season, there really hasn’t been a negative experience for her or the team this year.
In fact, maybe the hardest part of the year has been adapting to her role as a leader.
“It’s been a work in progress,” said Davidson. “I’ve learned just what it means to be a leader. It’s more than just going to the ref and doing the coin toss and picking heads or tails.
“It’s respecting everyone, the refs, the teams, the coaches, the fans. I’ve had to really step it up and know how to lift up the team in the bad times and the good times and keep the games spirited.”
The HBCS senior said the biggest thrill so far has been learning new positions on the court and working on her skills, especially going for the ball instead of just waiting for it to come to you.
Learning new positions has been a forte for Davidson, who just recently switched to the outside hitter role from her time as a middle hitter. But it’s just part of what makes the HBCS senior such a good player and leader according to Boudreaux.
“We had so many new players this year that we needed some one who could not only tell them where to be on the court but to motivate them and keep them up,” said Boudreaux. “When they make mistakes, she needs to be there to motivate them. She’s really stepped up and been that leader this year.
“Hannah played middle because she had to in the past. Now that we have some height this year, we were able to move her to her natural position on the outside and she’s played well all year.”
Davidson added that the switch from the Christian school league to the LHSAA has been more that what she expected it would be.
“It’s been better than I thought it would be,” she said. “We thought that it would be really, really difficult and that the teams would be super hard but it actuality we’ve grown so much it’s not nearly as difficult or as scary as we thought it would be.”
That included two games against ESA, long the gold standard in the Teche Area when it comes to volleyball.
“We were nervous playing team but once we started playing our nerves settled down,” said Davidson. “But it was difficult. They are a good team and we just have to work harder if we want to get to that level.”