It was only a matter of time before Lanie Camarillo would make her mark on the court in her first year on the Liberty volleyball team.
The senior outside hitter transferred from Frontier in the spring when her family moved into the Liberty area.
A BVarsity All-Area hitter from a year ago, Camarillo has been a force at the net in her three years in high school and arguably had her best night of the season with 10 kills as Liberty swept Clovis North at home on Wednesday, 25-15, 25-18, 25-23.
“She had a really great week of practice,” Liberty coach Amy Parker said. “She’s been attacking the ball instead of just hitting the ball, and there is a difference. It’s great to see her play the game well and have fun.”
Camarillo was all smiles during a 5-1 run at the end of the second set when she had four kills, including the final point to give the Patriots (6-2) a commanding 2-0 lead in a matchup of two top-10 ranked team in the BVarsity Central Section rankings.
“It was really nice to get out here and play with my team and really show what we can do,” Camarillo said.
Camarillo admitted the change of system was rough at first, but she has eased right into a rotation that consists of returning starters like Elise Ferreira (19 assists, 6 aces, 8 digs, 5 kills), Lauryn Burt (10 kills, 12 assists), Kaitlan Tucker (8 kills) and Liana Caroccio.
“With anything when you are moving and transitioning, there is going to be a rough period just getting used to things,” Camarillo said. “But I think now, me and my sister (freshman Paige Camarillo), we are both well-adjusted and everyone has been so welcoming to both of us.”
Leaders like Burt, who was key in the Patriots’ run to the Central Section Division I title last season, see the change Camarillo brings to the court.
“Lanie is one of the go-to hitter on our court and she is such a great teammate,” Burt said. “It makes it all that much better.”
Adding in another powerful hitter to the mix for Liberty is an added dimension that makes the Patriots (ranked No. 3 in the section) a favorite again to contend for a repeat title in the Southwest Yosemite League and in D-I.
“There is one rotation when my hitters are Elise, Kaitlan and Lanie and Lauryn setting,” Parker said. “We like to stay in that rotation as long as possible because when you key on one person, it’s nice when two are in the front row and you can’t just focus on one player.”
It also brings a bit of confidence to Patriots after a slow start to the season, dropping two matches at the Clovis Volleyball Challenge two weeks ago.
“It totally does,” Parker said. “We are a better team right now then we were two weeks ago. That’s our goal. It’s to be better than you were yesterday. Be better every day.”
Savy Meinert, the younger sister of three-time boys tennis section champion Daly Meinert, led No. 8 Clovis North (12-5) with 12 kills and added eight kills.