Girls Volleyball: Kayla Pfeiffer embraces leader role at Lockport
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media September 23, 2013 9:40PM
Kayla Pfeiffer, of Lockport. | Gary Middendorf/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 25, 2013 6:31AM
Volleyball comes easy to Kayla Pfeiffer.
Sure, she works incredibly hard at it, but it’s working at a sport she loves.
How about stepping up into a leadership role, though? It’s not just volleyball anymore.
Lockport’s senior star and team captain has not wavered. This is a role she is tackling head-on.
“This is my third year on the varsity, and I feel obligated to step up as that leader, play my best all the time,” Pfeiffer said. “I can’t have an off game, so I talk to the girls on the court, make sure they aren’t nervous. That’s where the inexperience gets you, the nerves.”
As a junior on last year’s 25-11 Porters squad, Pfeiffer was able to just play and let the seniors lead the way.
The results were evident. Pfeiffer earned All-Area honors in piling up 344 assists, 246 kills and 205 digs as she split time setting and hitting.
The 2013 season? This is Pfeiffer’s time to shine.
Lockport coach Erika Lange has seen her senior setter step up through the first month of the season. Lange, a star at Sandburg and Northwestern, said she went through some similar struggles.
“What we’ve seen is that she has to step up and be a more vocal leader,” Lange said. “Last year, she could play and let the seniors lead. It took a little while to embrace it. I was the same way. It was an unnatural thing for me to be a vocal leader.”
Heading into Tuesday’s match at Lincoln-Way Central, Lockport has a 5-4 record, with tournaments at Rich East, St. Charles East and Maine West still on the schedule.
Pfeiffer has been as solid as ever for the Porters, leading the team with 51 kills while also dishing out 42 assists. Playing solely as a setter for her club team, Ultimate, Pfeiffer didn’t blink at the chance to set and hit for the Porters.
“I don’t have a problem jumping back into the swing of things, and I’m fine going in and hitting,” Pfeiffer said. “I like doing it both, getting a chance to do both.”
Pfeiffer, who recently committed to Jacksonville State University in Alabama, is psyched for what her senior season offers. Conference, regionals, sectionals, all of them are in her sights.
“It would be great to win all those, and we do have the potential,” Pfeiffer said. “It’s definitely fun this year. I’m enjoying (senior year), and I like how everyone else is playing. Everyone else is stepping up.”
Lange, for one, is happy to have Pfeiffer leading the charge.
“Kayla understands that she’s the focal point of the offense, our setter running everything,” Lange said. “She has embraced it and come a long way too in terms of being a leader and a presence on the court.”