Lopes Volleyball earns postseason honors

Lopes Volleyball earns postseason honors

An uplifting finish at the 2016 Region IX-South Tournament was followed by multiple postseason honors for the Lamar Community College volleyball team.

Three sophomores – Andreia BomfimLarissa Francisco and Tanaia Hansen – were named to the Region IX-South All-Region team, while freshman Devine Star Hoskie was selected to the All Region IX-South Tournament team, along with Francisco.

Bomfim was also named the Region IX-South Libero of the Year.

"All four girls are absolutely deserving of the recognition they got, and while I think a couple more were in the running for awards, I'm incredibly proud and thankful for what was bestowed upon us," LCC head coach Dante Geoffrey said. "These four, among others, helped this program reach new heights and pass new milestones this season."

The four award-winners earned their recognition by climbing national, regional and program leaderboards.

Bomfim, a 2015 All-Region selection, set new LCC records for most digs in a season (577) and digs in a career (1153) in 2016. The 5-foot, 5-inch libero from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, finished first in Region IX-South and ninth in the nation with 5.66 digs per set in 2016, a mark that helped the team finish ninth overall with 19.05 digs/set.

She also scored 30 aces and finished with the seventh-most aces in program history with 48.

"Our passing and defense is what kept us in a lot of games, especially early on, and that was largely due to Andreia's ownership of the back row," Geoffrey said. "She had to adapt to a new defensive system, but didn't let that hinder her at all."

Bomfim improved from 4.27 digs/set as a freshman libero, to 5.66 digs/set in 2016. She had a game-high 41 digs in a five-set win (8.2 d/s) against Trinidad on Oct. 15 and 27 in a three-set loss (9 d/s) to Otero on Oct. 27.

"Her talent, competitiveness and maturity was a tremendous value for us," Geoffrey said. 

Hansen, largely used as a defensive presence in 2015, made her mark as an offensive force her sophomore season. The Eads High School product led the Lopes in total kills (267) and more than doubled her kills/set output to finish second on the team with 2.32 kills/set (12th in the region). Hansen averaged 1.08 kills/set in 2015. The 6-foot, 2-inch had 12 games of double-digit kills in 2016, after reaching the 10-kill mark just once in 2015.

Hansen was still a defensive force at the net with 44 total blocks, good for second on the team.

"What didn't Nae do this year?" Geoffrey said. "She was always matched up against the opponent's best attacker and was also one of our most reliable weapons. She hit the game-winner in our five-set win against NJC, and was a team captain that everyone could always count on. As a first-year coach, I can't say enough about how important she was for me, this season and this program."

Hansen's work added up to some impressive career totals. She finished third in LCC history in both total kills (412) and total blocks (116).

Francisco was a Lope for just one season after transferring from Snow College (Ephraim, Utah), but wasted no time making her presence felt.

Francisco finished fifth in region and 38th in the nation with 3.2 kills per set with a .209 hitting percentage. She scored double-digit kills in 15 of the 22 matches in which she played, and recorded a season-best 18 kills (.467 hitting percentage) in a three-set win against Dodge City on Sept. 23.

"We brought Larissa into our program thinking she could be our go-to hitter, and she proved herself worthy of that role," Geoffrey said. "She's had to overcome language and culture barriers, system changes, injuries, homesickness, everything. Then in the region tournament she delivers a couple of her best performances of the season."

Francisco, from Sao Paolo, Brazil, scored 10 kills, hit .308 and tallied 10 digs in a first-round sweep of McCook on Nov. 3. The following day against Trinidad State, Francisco had 16 kills on .324 hitting and 20 digs to lead the Lopes to a four-set win. 

"She was a player on a mission in those games, you could see it," Geoffrey said. "In all honesty, it made me think we didn't utilize her enough in the regular season, but she was a six-rotation force for us at the end, for sure."

Francisco played in only 22 of Lamar's 34 matches in 2015 due to injury, but still finished with 253 kills, good for eighth-most in a season and 11th-most all time.

"Selfishly, we wish we could keep her for another year, but I know she'll flourish wherever she goes after Lamar," Geoffrey said.

Freshman Devine Star Hoskie was named to the All-Tournament team for her stellar play in the Region IX-South Tournament. 

"Unfortunately, Star didn't have the numbers to get that All-Region nod this season, but she is absolutely the cog that made everything else work on our team," Geoffrey said. "She sets, hits, plays defense. She was one of only two girls to play all the way around and she made it possible for us to run our system the way we wanted to. I'm very proud that she was recognized during the tournament."

Hoskie scored 24 kills (.215 hitting percentage), 55 assists and 53 digs across three tournament matches. She earned her second triple-double of the season (14 kills, 28 assists, 16 digs) in Lamar's four-set win over Trinidad on Nov. 4, and had double-doubles with sets and digs in the victory against McCook (Nov. 3) and the loss to Otero (Nov. 4).

For the season, Hoskie led Lamar with 626 assists and a .227 hitting percentage. She was second on the team with 35 aces.

"For a freshman to have that kind of season, and to end on that kind of note really sets the tone for next year," Geoffrey said. "Star is a perfect example of what hard work and maturity can lead to. She's earned everything she has and I know that even bigger and better things are in store for her."