Halifax County Middle School volleyball head coach Lynzie Adams, left, and assistant Savanna Cabaniss observe a conditioning drill during the first day of tryouts last week.

Lynzie Adams, in her first year as head coach for the Halifax County Middle School volleyball team, is aiming to keep the success of the program moving forward despite delays and interruptions due to COVID-19.

A former assistant for the Lady Lions, Adams has seen the multiple volleyball championship banners in the gym and knows the tradition and history associated with the program.

“I would love to keep that going, although this year is so different than any other year in the past,” said Adams following the first day of tryouts last week, referring to restrictions due to COVID-19 and the delays in tryouts and conditioning due to inclement weather.

“The challenges are there, and I think the biggest thing is the kids need to get back into their athletics, because it’s an emotional, physical and mental game,” she added.

“I’m really glad to see them in here, following protocols and safety guidelines, and I think the end result is going to be positive.”

The roster includes 12 student-athletes, including eighth-graders Olivia Seamster, Montana Terry, Hannah Terry and Kameron Satterfield.

Seventh-grade members of the team include Hannah Abbott, Miley Powell, Miranda Powell, Abagail Conner, Maggie Reaves and Cara Dyer, and sixth-graders include Allie Payne and Ella Seamster.

The Lions’ schedule currently includes eight matches, two each against four teams, with the season-opener scheduled for Tuesday at Laurel Park Middle School starting at 5 p.m.

Considering all of the disruptions, Adams was pleased with the numbers at tryouts, including about six returning players.

“We had 17 show up for first day of tryouts and I was really surprised, and to be honest I didn’t know how many we’d have considering what we have going on,” noted Adams.

Adams and assistant coach Savanna Cabaniss are focusing on fundamentals in practice, including ball control, accurate and efficient passing, and serving.

“We’re looking to see who can serve the ball and get it over the net,” said Adams, who also is aware that conditioning is also a focus after so much time away from the court.

“I feel that COVID has decreased their physical activity, and because of that we haven’t seen the fitness level we normally see, but they’re working hard and pushing themselves,” she explained.

COVID-19 protocols, including the wearing of masks, has been a hinderance in the team’s communication skills

“I’m excited to formulate the team so we can work on our communication,” Adams explained.

“COVID has made people a little awkward around each other. I feel we don’t have that bond a team should have so hopefully we will be able to build upon that and have strong communication and teamwork.

“Sports is a positive experience for anyone who participates, and for them to be out here and competing is a win in itself.

“I’m optimistic about this season.”