Tradition must start somewhere. For the Hermann Bearcats, under the direction of Coach Linda Birk (now Lampkin), tradition began in 1983. The Lady Bearcats got their first taste of the state tournament that year, and haven’t looked back. Since then, the Hermann Volleyball Team has traveled to the state tournament 22 times.
“I think it’s a combination of things. It’s the training that we do every day," said Lampkin. "Another thing that keeps us going back is good assistant coaches and a tough schedule. I think tradition is important. Everyone comes in knowing that we have all this success in the background, so there is a very real possibility that we can go back to the Final Four year after year.”
After being eliminated in districts two years in a row, the Hermann Lady Bearcats made a stand this year in the post-season. The hard work paid off, and they were faced with the reality of going to state. For many of them, state was a brand new experience, but not for Captain Kaileigh Tyree (12).
“As a freshmen, going to state didn’t mean as much to me because I wasn’t on the court," said Tyree. But as a senior, I remember everything; from every point to every play to every picture. I remember looking up at the crowd and seeing their faces. The feeling was different too. I was satisfied with how I ended my senior year. Win or lose, it was still a win (for me).”
The question now is “What’s going to happen next year?” Nine players of this year’s varsity team will be returning next year, and eyes are set on the state title. Allison Stiers (10) has big plans for next season.
“We have good people coming back, and I think we can make it to the state tournament. It’s time to start practicing. They better watch out.”