By RYAN HERMAN
Lynn Rhyne isn’t making any promises, but to the longtime North Lincoln volleyball coach the Knights look promising in 2013.
North Lincoln, which opened the season Tuesday with a 3-0 win at county rival Lincolnton, has won three consecutive conference championships and finished second in the two years prior to establish itself as a local volleyball powerhouse.
The Knights’ best season in school history came in 2010 when they went 23-7 and reached the fourth round of the NCHSAA state 2A playoffs.
While she’s making no predictions, Rhyne, the only volleyball coach the school has known in its 11-year history, sees a lot of similarities in this year’s team to the one that came two wins shy of playing for a state championship three seasons ago.
“I think this one has a lot of potential. … It kind of reminds me of that team because of the dynamics and how we they work together,” Rhyne said.
Rhyne said she has a good mix on the offensive side this year –– solid setters, hitters and servers –– which will be important once conference play begins as the Knights (1-0) are now members of the North Piedmont 3A/4A Conference.
Included in that mix are Savannah Dishman and Olivia Loeffler, who has committed to play at Appalachian State, Rhyne said.
“We’ve got some good players this year,” she said. “That’s definitely all going to come into play.”
While making it look easy against the Wolves on Tuesday –– set scores were 25-16, 25-6 and 25-11 –– Rhyne had nothing but praise for Lincolnton (0-1).
“I think they’ll come together in that 2A conference. I think they’ll do very well,” she said.
Third-year Lincolnton coach Kathy-Jo Lindroth agreed, even with having just three seniors this year.
“I’ve got a good group of girls and I think that we will have some success this season.”