By BRETT MARSHALL
LAKIN — Amy Dunn can't recall a time when she was playing most sports without having Jodie Jennings around.
Jodie Jennings finds it difficult to imagine playing a team sport without her sidekick, Dunn.
The two Lakin Lady Broncs seniors know each other on the court about as well as two teammates and friends could. It's volleyball in the fall, basketball in the winter and softball in the spring.
Tuesday night, the two Lady Broncs put that experience and know-how together to help pace Lakin to a sweep of Hugoton (25-17, 25-16) and Holcomb (25-20 25-19) as the volleyball season got underway. In the other match, Hugoton won a hard-fought three-set match over the Lady Longhorns (19-25, 25-23, 25-20).
For Jennings, a hitter for the Lady Broncs, it was just good to get out on the court and begin playing other teams.
"It feels good to get the wins, we've just got to keep working hard and getting better," Jennings said. "Amy and I know each other really well and it helps to know where she is because it just makes everything easier."
For Dunn, the season-opening sweep was a positive way to begin her final prep campaign. And the combination of the three Lakin seniors — the third being Tayler Frederiksen — and a group of sophomores and juniors, Dunn is excited about the season's prospects.
"It was a good night and we had some nerves when we first got out there," Dunn said. "I thought our young players really did a good job, but we know we still have a lot to learn and improve on."
Dunn said playing beside Jennings makes it easier as well.
"We've just played side by side for so long now that Jodie knows where everybody is and it gives you a lot of confidence," Dunn said. "I liked the fact that we kept our heads up and didn't get down on ourselves. This is all about momentum and if you can keep it, you've got a great chance to win."
Both Jennings and Dunn, as well as their underclassmen teammates, seemed to have adjusted to a new offensive set being utilized by coach Steve Davidson.
"We get to move more and you have to know where to go to make (6-2 offense vs. a 4-2 last season) work," Dunn said. "I think it allows us to utilize our athleticism more, too."
For Jennings, getting an opening pair of wins is just the beginning of what she hopes is a successful final season.
"Our hitting and setting was pretty good tonight, but our passing was not too good," Jennings said. "We can cover a lot more area but we still need to work on it."
For Davidson, getting two wins on opening night was a great way to start the season.
"It's nice to get a couple of wins, but it wasn't pretty," Davidson said. "I did see a lot of things to indicate we have some potential, but the girls know they didn't play as well as they can. I think we were pretty fortunate to have won that first game."
Davidson was referring to the Holcomb match where in Game 1, the Lady Broncs trailed 18-13 before a pair of kills by junior Allie Jones got Lakin going. Lakin eventually was still trailing at 19-18 before they went on a 7-1 scoring surge to put the game away at 25-20.
"We have a lot of things to work on," Holcomb coach Shelly VanCleave said. "When we had things going we were fine, but that's part of the game. We've only got four girls back from last year so we've got a lot of new faces and those four are not always on the court at the same time. This does show us where we are and what we need to work on."
Holcomb will play Thursday in a quadrangular at Garden City that includes Great Bend and Liberal, starting at 4 p.m. at The Garden. Lakin's next outing is Sept. 8 at Elkhart in a quadrangular that includes Cimarron and Meade.
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