Emily Laudont had herself a heck of a night Thursday. The Kaneland junior volleyball player from Elburn not only helped the Knights to a tight, three-game home win against Morris, she was asked to homecoming after the match. Holding a bouquet of flowers a few minutes after the Knights’ win, Laudont talked to Shaw Media sports editor Jay Schwab about her exciting evening, being productive at the net despite standing only 5-feet, 6-inches tall and Kaneland persevering the past couple weeks without starting setter Jenny Lubic, who is set to return soon after a concussion. The following is an edited transcript:
First off, what was the big commotion here after the match tonight?
I got asked to homecoming by Andrew Tobin. That’s next weekend.
So that made the end of the night all the better?
Yeah. Along with the win and then getting asked to homecoming, that’s more than I could ask for.
I think you had four or five kills in that third game – at your height, how challenging is it to put balls down?
Very hard. I have to be able to get over the blocker or [get around] the block, but it gives me that much more motivation to want to do that. I know other teams look at me as short or easy to block, so that makes me want to prove them wrong.
Do you view yourself as an offensive-minded player in general?
Yeah. I like the back row, too, so I like defense, as well. Either one is fine, but I love being front row and being part of the offense, putting the ball down.
Has it been challenging without Lubic in the lineup to help you guys?
I miss her a lot, we all miss her a lot, but Ashley Prost has done a great job stepping up. She has great sets and we’ve been able to adapt to them very easily and Jenny’s great on the bench, cheering us, giving us tips, watching the court. It’s been good.
Who would you say is the toughest opponent you guys have seen so far this year?
Probably either Morris or DeKalb, either one of them. We lost to Morris at their place and we lost to DeKalb. ... Both of them are really challenging.
What’s more important in your mind right now – the best finish possible in the conference or gearing up for the postseason and improving to get ready for regionals?
Looking at the right here and now, conference. That’s one of our goals as a team. ... Winning conference, looking at that right now, that’s definitely most important.
Last question, who’s the best vocal leader on the team?
I think we’re all really good. I couldn’t think of one person because anyone on defense is good at calling the ball, we all talk to each other. Offensively, whoever is setting, either Jenny or Ashley, they tell you what you’re hitting, where to hit it, and the offense, they call your hits. We all work together really well.