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Anna Flitner leads Lyman after loss of six graduated seniors

PRESHO -- With no seniors on its roster, Lyman's volleyball team needed to find leadership from its junior class.

Anna Flitner has provided just that.

In her third year playing for the Raiders, Flitner has been both a vocal leader and a stat leader for the team.

"Anna has always been a great leader because she's so passionate about the sport," co-head coach Jill Whalen said.

Lyman's other co-head coach Renee Thomas said Flitner is second on the team in digs, leads the team with 292 kills and has the most blocks on the team.

Last week, Lyman defeated Jones County in straight sets and took down Philip 3-1. In those two matches, Flitner recorded 40 kills, 31 digs and six blocks.

For her efforts, Flitner has been named The Daily Republic's athlete of the week, an award voted on by the newspaper's sports staff.

"She had some great games," Whalen said. "The key is to always be an aggressive hitter and she has really stepped up.

"Every time she got her hand on the ball, she was driving it down and she had some great swings."

Flitner finished last season with 232 kills and said she has surprised herself with how quickly she has approached the 300 kill mark for the season.

"I knew I wanted to up my number of kills but I mostly wanted to make my hits more powerful and improve my technique," Flitner said. "I've worked on my approach, we lost six seniors from last year and I've had to step up."

With the loss of so many seniors, many expected Lyman to have a down year. Last season the Raiders finished 16-10 and this year the squad is 11-10.

"I think we've surprised some people," Flitner said. "We knew we could do it and it's really exciting knowing that we all have another year together. We only have room to grow."

Lyman finished last season as region champions and although the team is in third in the Region 13B standings, the Raiders are 3-1 against the top two teams. Splitting its games with White River and taking both matches against Jones County.

"With our district, it's so even," Whalen said. "Any given day anybody can take a game from anyone. But the girls are excited, after being district champs last season they are ready to do it again."

The Raiders have two regular season matches left before heading into postseason play. They take on Highmore-Harrold today in Presho and finish off with a match against Stanley County Oct. 25 in Fort Pierre.