Eagles volleyball much improved

Delanie Fullenkamp hits the ball over the net in last weeks match with SJO. 


RANTOUL — When Lakimya Wade was approached by Rantoul athletic director Travis Flesner about accepting a coaching role within the Eagles’ volleyball squad, Wade didn’t hesitate to reach for the top spot.

“When it’s something you love, near and dear, you need to revamp something,” the 2010 Rantoul graduate said. “So why not?”

Considering the results thus far, why not indeed.

The Eagles, even with their last two matches ending in defeat, carry a 10-7 record in Wade’s first season at the helm.

It’s a far cry from the previous year’s 8-25 mark and has Wade excited for current and future prospects.

“I can’t ask for a better team,” Wade said. “The girls have been really receptive, and they’ve pushed through all the drills and ideas that I have.”

In Wade’s mind, her biggest obstacle in Year 1 of coaching has been stepping out of a “sister” role she believes some of her players view her in.

The reason: Wade’s actual sister, senior Mye’Joi Williams, is part of the program.

That element aside, athletes such as Williams, Tanaya Young, Lexi Sherrick, Delaney Fullencamp and Bella Shields — all typically in Wade’s starting lineup — are giving Wade optimism for Illini Prairie Conference and Class 3A postseason action.

“Every girl has been committed, and they work overtime,” Wade said. “They’ll ask me can they stay and hit, can they stay and serve, and I love that mentality.”