Lincoln East volleyball going to first state tourney since coach was a player

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Last week, the Lincoln East Spartans secured a district title and a trip to the state playoffs for the first time in over a decade.

The team earned that honor by beating Fremont High School in four sets.

Head coach Nicole Johnson was a senior when the Spartans made their last tournament appearance in 2008.

Now she coaches the very team she once played for, hoping to lead this squad to a state title.

“It seems pretty surreal, but I’ve been pretty lucky to have an incredible group of girls, and they make my job easy,” Johnson said at practice Monday. “They have put in the work, and I am just here to guide them and hopefully make it to where they want to be.”

Senior middle hitter Brooklyn Fuchs has been an impact player since making the varsity team as a sophomore.

Throughout her career, she has recorded 579 kills, 57 aces and 185 blocks.

And she’s looking to add “state champion” to her impressive resume before graduation.

“This is what I have been working towards the past four years, so it’s kind of just an unreal feeling,” she said. “I can’t really even describe it in words, like, how this feels. We have come such a long way since my freshman year.”

Throughout the season, Johnson has preached the word “together,” a simple word that carries a deep meaning for this squad.

“Any success we’ve had comes from everybody on the court, off the court, in practice,” she said. “We always do these things together, so ‘Build More Together’ has been our moto this year, and I think it’s gotten a big rise in our culture.”

On Wednesday, all eyes will be on the Spartans as they square off against Papillion La Vista in the first round.

Categories: High School Sports, Sports