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Longhorn volleyball spotlight on Kamryn Sluder, Courtney Brooks

Courtney Brooks
Kamryn Sluder

By Tim Chambers

KC and the Sunshine Band’s “That’s the way I like it” was a number one hit back in 1975. The Lady Longhorns are hoping its K&C combination can be a hit on the volleyball court 42 years later.
Kamryn Sluder and Courtney Brooks don’t have the sunshine band backing them up, but they do have a talented cast. It showed during the second game of the jamboree in a 26-24 loss to Chuckey-Doak.
“We’ve got eight positions that are pretty set and we have others who can step in when needed,” said Brooks. “I feel like we can compete with almost everyone here after watching them all play tonight.”
Sluder knows her team has the talent to be a good squad, but she knows they have to prove it on the court.
“Each player has the skills to do pretty well, but we’ve got to prove it on the court,” said Sluder. “I feel like we can do that if we talk and communicate with one another. We have to live up to the potential that all of us have. It’s all about believing in ourselves.”
Brooks is beginning her third year on the team. She said this team is different from those she’s been on in past years.
“It’s usually hard to find a girls’ team that doesn’t have drama but that’s not the case here,” said Brooks. “We all want to see one another do well. We’re tired of losing and not being respected.”
Brooks also touched on the team’s new persona.
“Our attitude is different than in past years,” added Brooks. “We used to come in not believing we could beat certain teams. This team doesn’t do that anymore. Our mindset is that we can beat and compete with anyone. We’re playing with a lot of confidence.”
Sluder knows that she must help provide the leadership with four sophomores on the roster. She is ready to embrace that role.
“Our senior group is very close, but we also have that type of relationship with our sophomore and junior players,” added Sluder. “It showed when we went to Cherokee on Saturday. It felt great to win five games and everyone was pulling for each other. This team has a chance to do something special with a little more work. We want to win a bunch of games.”
NOTE: Sluder and Brooks played well in their 26-24 loss to Chuckey-Doak during Monday’s jamboree at Sullivan South.
Sluder served up three aces that helped them overcome a five-point deficit. Brooks had a couple of big sets near the net that led to a pair of late points.