Lee Volleyball Prepares For 2022 Season

Tuesday, August 9, 2022
It might be easy to label 2022 a new beginning for Lee Coach Callie Tabisz and her Lady Flames. Coach Tabisz admits the 2021 season was tough for everyone. There was a fresh staff, new systems, new coaching styles, and then on top of that COVID hit the team hard!  

As she enters her second season as head coach, she admits she could draft an article about the things she learned over her first year. “I loved the growth I saw not only in myself, but in my staff and team as we developed in our mindsets and skillset throughout the entire fall and spring.
I know this year will be better for our program because of the great strides we all took to learn the game, ourselves, and our opponents better.”  

Tabisz’s first Lee team fought to finish the season with a 7-20 record but did post five wins in the rugged Gulf South Conference. “There were definitely spirts of moments where I could see the team buying into the culture and systems that we desired, but it truly wasn't until the spring where I saw the buy-in, become 100% and the culture flip to the one we all wanted in August,” she explained. “Our level of play drastically improved in the spring all around and the style of play of becoming grittier, quicker, and better competitors indeed took over. Practice and matches seemed to fall in our favor more often than before. Also, our leadership within our team grew tremendously to the point that we really were able to connect better on and off the court. I feel our fans will see a whole new team and style of play this fall."  

Only Two Key Players Missing  

Only a couple of key players will be missing when the Lady Flames open the 2022 season in Charlotte, N.C. on August 26 against North Greenville. "We are looking forward to seeing who will step up this season as our leading scorer, with losing senior All-GSC player Emma Flowers. Emma was a vital role in our success last year, but we have some wonderful returners and newcomers that will fill the void that was lost in December. Also, we lost Hannah Longley, who was a key defender for us the majority of the season, but we have two returners in her position as well as two newcomers, so we are excited to see the competitive practice in the gym this season," pointed out Coach Tabisz.  

Calling on Seven Returnees  

Coach Tabisz has seven returnees she will be calling on. “We have a strong core of returners coming back this year that saw significant playing time last season,” she noted. “Junior Allie Whittinghill was our second leading scorer, followed by seniors Abby Stroh and Hannah Upton who came back late in the season and made a significant positive impact in our final few matches on the pin and in the middle. Also, we are returning senior Scottie Cook and junior Macy Petty in the middle position as well as junior libero Kamryn Halpin and junior setter Reagan Bratton."   

Excited About New Recruits  

The coaching staff put in extra hours on the recruiting trail and Coach Tabisz is excited about the results. "We have a wonderful group of newcomers between our five freshman and four transfers,” she explained. “Setter Ashton Middleton joined us in January of this year and did a wonderful job of building connections with our hitters and helping us develop a quicker offensive system. Sophia Lippert is an incoming freshman lefty right-side hitter who takes massive swings and had a wonderful experience at an elite club level, placing second at USAV Nationals during her 18’s season. Another key player to mention is Grace Mazzocca. Grace is an incredibly talented middle out of Ohio that is incredibly dynamic on both sides of the ball. Offensively, she has a quick arm and great shots. Defensively, we love her press at the net and her solid side-to-side movements."  

Work Ethic is Strong Point  

The coach says work ethic, desire to get better, and the depth are the strong points of the 2022 team. “Last year we had a smaller team either due to injury or COVID and this year we will have 17 active players on the roster, so the depth will create a more competitive environment in our practice gym which I truly believe will correlate to the matches,” she allowed.  

Coaches are always seeking ways to improve their squads. “This season a big focus for us is in our overall defense and shot placements on attacks,” said Tabisz. “We spent a few months developing newer defensive and blocking systems, so we are excited to see how those translate into a tough preseason round-up against some of the top DII teams in the country, along with scoring more in transition and effectively placing the balls.”  

Schedule is Very Tough!  

The coaching staff will see how the club fares against NCAA DII powerhouses very quickly. "It is a very tough schedule,” noted Coach Tabisz. "We have two of the top division two teams in the country within the first two weeks, with Tampa and Washburn on the list. The rest of the year we do not slow down. We are excited to play the best of the best to push and grow ourselves to compete at the highest levels."   

GSC, South Region Loaded  

The GSC is loaded with very athletic teams and so is the South Region. I believe every team can show up and be competitive daily. We are excited to compete against West Florida, Montevallo, Mississippi College as well as UAH (Huntsville) this season,” related the second-year leader. “I believe those will be some of the top teams to look out for on the schedule and matches you will not want to miss!  

“As for the region, I see Tampa and NOVA as teams to be aware of on the regional schedule. We are also excited for the chance to play Saint Leo (Florida) in our home tournament. We had an awfully close battle with them at the crossover tournament last year. Our region is one of the tops in the country right now for volleyball."  

Having Two Assistants is a Blessing  

Coach Tabisz says having two assistants this year is a blessing for her program. “With the addition of Nate Shadoan, I can see in-game management being changed and giving specific roles to all our staff as well as more one-on-one training for the girls in practice. I genuinely know it will help grow our girls quicker and create a more fluid environment overall.” Silvia Beauzile will continue to work with the team when her schedule allows.  

Pumped About 2002 Team  

In closing the excited coach said,” I feel our fans will see a whole new team and style of play this fall which we are pumped about!”   

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