With Saint Leo volleyball sitting atop the conference at a sweltering 8-2 record, which included the blowout of rival University of Tampa Spartans, the Lions deserve some recognition. While volleyball is a team effort and the whole team has been performing at an excellent level, there a few that have stood out among the crowd.
Maddy Powell is a junior from neighboring Tampa, Florida. She has had an outbreak this year. With her freshman and sophomore year being quiet she was determined to do something about it. She saw a total of only 24 matches and 32 sets in her first two years, but this season has already played in 16 matches and 45 sets. She has become a new key part of the attack on the Lions offense with 65 kills and 170 total attacks. Like her whole team she has also played even better in conference. “When we play in conference we focus even more than usual, because that’s when it counts” Powell` said. “There’s nothing like the feeling of beating a rival team.” Powell has played her best volleyball as a Lion so far and hopes it won’t stop now.
Her teammate and the Lions’ libero, or rearmost defender, Jamee Townsend is playing as her usual self. She continues to have great matches every time she goes out. Possibly the Lions best defender, Townsend is from Plant City, Florida and went to Strawberry Crest High School. She has outdone herself at her time at Saint Leo. Now a senior, she has competed in 311 sets in her past 3 seasons, among the most on the team. She has been named to many SSC all conference teams and has reached a feat, this year, which not many volleyball players can say they have done: 1000 digs, or balls handled and kept in play when they are spiked at her. Playing in all 24 matches this year Townsend has racked up 464 of the 1000 digs with 0 errors. She is the backbone of the Lions’ defense and continues to carry and support the offense. She will be sorely missed after this year.
Hope Lemon, the outside hitter who Powell feeds time after time every match, is one of the Lions’ heavy hitters. She jumps out of the gym standing at only 5 feet 9 inches, small for a hitter. She is from Cedar Park, Texas. Majoring in Sports Business, Lemon has excelled on and off the court. She, just like Townsend, reached a milestone in her career recently. She reached 1000 kills. A kill is when the ball is set to a hitter and she scores a point when the ball hits the opponent’s floor. This is an impressive feat. She has been named to countless SSC teams and a South Region All-Tournament Team last year. She continues to get better and better every year, however. So far this season she has played in every match and has recorded 284 kills already. Averaging 3.5 kills a set.
Hope, Jamee, Maddy, and the entire Lions volleyball team is playing stellar ball right now and looks to continue their run deep into the playoffs. Congratulations to Lemon and Townsend on their extremely impressive milestones.