LAYTON Carley Nelson noticed something different in her teammates the first day of volleyball practice.
"We were ready to go from the first day," said the senior setter, after the Lancers won their first region match over Davis, 25-17, 25-18, 25-17. "We have a lot more experience. ... The whole attitude and maturity was different."
The Lancers have used that maturity to start the season 9-0.
"It's a wonderful start," said Nelson, who finished with 19 assists. "It's always great to beat Davis."
And while first-year head coach Ricci Vowles is also pleased with the Lancers' start, she cautions that they've only played one tournament and now a home game.
"We don't really know where we're at yet," Vowles said. "After we play a Northridge or Viewmont, then we'll really know."
She agrees with her seniors that there is a difference in the level of confidence on the squad, which she attributes to more time on the court.
"We have good athletes and they're experienced," Vowles said. "Last year we had good athletes and not a lot of experience."
Nelson has plenty of offensive weapons to choose from, including Kathryn Lecheminant, who led the team with 13 kills and Mariah Katoa, a sophomore who had 10 kills. Libero Mckell Wahlen added 10 digs in the win.
When asked if there was any way the Lancers could go undefeated in a very tough Region 1, Nelson and Lecheminant grinned.
"That's the plan," said Lecheminant, a 6-2 senior. "I think every team's goal is to be undefeated."
Adds Nelson, "We're just going to keep working hard and winning."
That will be tough to do for any squad, but in Region 1 it is especially tough.
"It's always a tough region," Davis coach Jamie Fox said. "Last year we were a fifth-seed and we beat a No. 1 seed. That shows you how tough this region was. We have tradition, great rivalries and we're pretty close-knit. We have a lot of pride and we all get up to play each other."McKenzie Garrett led the Darts with nine kills and junior Danielle Downs added seven kills.