Season is 'going great so far' for LaMoure/LM volleyball team
The LaMoure/Litchville-Marion volleyball team is off to a great start this fall.
LAMOURE, N.D. — Five years ago, it was Anna and Ellie Holen as the dynamic sister duo tearing up the volleyball court in LaMoure.
Watching the Holen sisters play happens to be the first memory one of the members of the current LLM sister duo has of the LaMoure/Litchville-Marion volleyball program.
Savanna Steffes and Heidi Steffes have helped to lead the LaMoure/LM volleyball team to a 3-0 District 5 and 4-2 Region 3 record. The Loboes are currently the No. 1 team in the Region 3, District 5 standings at 13-8 overall.
LaMoure/LM's next test is scheduled for Oct. 4 against Edgeley/KM. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.
"I've been playing volleyball in the halls with Heidi since I was little," said Savanna, a sophomore outside hitter. "(Heidi's) my number one supporter on the team. We get competitive to make each other better."
Savanna has been playing volleyball since she was in fifth grade and Heidi, a junior middle blocker, was in sixth. Heidi said she got into the sport because it seemed like something she would be good at.
Only three years after picking up a ball for the first time, LLM head coach Jill Gustafson called Heidi up to the varsity roster as an eighth grader.
"This program is great in many ways from coaches to practice but I’d say mainly the girls on the team because they’re always willing to try new things and they are there to have fun," Heidi said.
Heidi is regularly the No. 1 kill leader and blocker on the Loboes roster. She tabulated 16 kills against Ellendale and 10 against Oakes. In two games, she made nine solo blocks at the net.
Heidi is not the only one with hops at the net. Nateal Rodin and Bailie Kelly make their fair share of stops too.
"We also have a lot of girls that can swing anywhere on the net and make great plays," Heidi said.
Savanna joined her older sister on varsity last year as a freshman. She's a regular pick on the outside to put away a point.
"I love every part of volleyball except for the injuries," Savanna said. "Our ability to coach each other makes us great. We have our ups and downs, but so does every team. I think we have the potential to be an amazing team."
So how does a team go from potentially amazing to actually amazing?
It starts with the fundamentals.
Heidi said the Loboes always practice their passing with drills and then play queens as a kind of warm-up. From there each day coaches mix up what the Loboes work on.
"We could be working on defense one day then hitting the next or every position could be split up working on their own thing," Heidi said. "The first couple weeks of practice we do stations or some harder conditioning drill. After that, we condition once in a while but coaches make sure almost every drill has some sort of conditioning in it."
Heidi said from her perspective the season is going well from a record and chemistry standpoint. The junior said the Loboes are able to keep their energy up during games and practices which when combined with skilled players makes them an extremely dangerous team in Region 3.
"I have definitely become a leader on the team, whether it be encouraging people to keep trying and helping them better their skills or getting a kill or block when our team really needs it," Heidi said.
"I’d say I need to help keep the energy during games and play my game and encourage my team to do the same for us to make the region tournament this year."
LaMoure/LM is a frequent flyer at the Region tournament but has not made it to the state tournament since 2017 which completed its three-year state championship run.
"I do think that Region 3 is the toughest region in the state especially this year because lots of teams are losing their older players," Heidi said. "There are lots of younger girls full of potential and everyone is super competitive. So far the season is going great!"