Photo courtesy of Bennett Cook – LS West

March 23, 2024

By Fred Liggett

The growth of high school boys volleyball as a club sport has been on the rise for a number of years but now in 2024 is an officially sanctioned varsity sport. Many area high schools have added the sport as a spring sport offering to their students.

24 students have come out to be a part of the first Lee’s Summit West Titans boys volleyball team. Head coach Jennifer Morgan said a number of “players are new to the sport, they play at PE and just for fun.” Coach Morgan says practice has meant “breaking down habits, teaching the basics.”

The Titans will be playing a wide variety of teams as not every high school sponsors a team. All three LSR7 schools sponsor a varsity and junior varsity team. A brief look at the Titans season schedule finds the Titans playing Rockhurst, Ruskin and North Kansas City in addition to their LSR7 rivals. The Titans kicked off the season by hosting St. Michael’s on Tuesday, Mar. 19. The Titans and Guardians played a varsity-only match. In the end it was the Titans coming up short to the Guardians. Final scores were 25-17, 25-17 and 25-13.

LS West and other new teams across the state will have to play 18 matches to qualify for MSHSAA state championship events. The inaugural schedule for the Titans finds the team playing on Tuesdays and Thursdays just like the girls team does. With the help of two tournaments the Titans have 20 games set so far.

While this is something new for many at LS West this is not true for coach Morgan or Lee’s Summit School District athletic director Kirk Hipple. Morgan is in her fourth year coaching a club volleyball team. Her son is a junior this year making this a family event for the Morgans. Hipple is from California and is a “big fan” of the sport coach Morgan admits. Morgan adds, “Hipple looks forward to seeing the boys program grow.”

For now it’s one step at a time for the volleyball team along with getting word out to the school and those living in the area there is a new team to support at the home of the Titans.

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