A-K Valley senior spotlight: Freeport’s Erica Lampus
Monday, September 27, 2021 | 10:10 AM
Some would call it a tradition of success or an expectation to win. At Freeport, girls volleyball players simply “refuse to lose.”
It’s a mantra that held true for many years under coach Tom Phillips, according to senior outside hitter Erica Lampus.
“That’s ingrained in all of us,” she said. “We have some deep-seated emotion. We plan to come out on top and push to do whatever we can to win.
“There’s an atmosphere at practice. It goes on from seniors down to all the grades: an idea that people before us have won sections, and we can’t be the ones to stop it.”
Freeport has won 16 straight section titles and is chasing its sixth WPIAL championship since 2010. The Yellowjackets are 4-1 overall and 3-1 in Section 5-3A this season and are ranked No. 4 in Class 3A.
Lampus, an all-state, all-WPIAL and all-section selection last season, has been a key cog for the Yellowjackets since her freshman year and has made quite an impact as a senior captain.
Last week, she was named a Player of the Week by the WPIAL Volleyball Coaches Association.
She took some time for a Senior Spotlight Q&A:
How has volleyball season gone so far?
I think we’re doing pretty well. We’ve only lost one game, but it was by two points in the fifth set. I think we’ll pull off a win against Hampton the next time we play them.
What are some of the things the team is doing well?
We’re doing really well at producing from all positions in the front row: our middles, right-sides and outsides. This is the one of the most even, balanced teams we’ve had in a long time.
What are the team’s goals this season?
Certainly, this season we have the goal of winning the section; that’s always one of our goals. We also want to make it past the first round of the playoffs and host that first playoff game at home.
How did it feel to be named a player of the week?
It felt really good. I never really think of myself as a standout player. I always think of the team. It felt good to be recognized.
What is your role on this team?
I’d say whatever it needs to be. The past two years, I was a libero, now I moved to hitter. It’s a role of vocal leader on the court wherever that is.
What was the toughest part of the transition from libero to hitter?
It’s like you have two different skills going on at once. Now that I’m hitting, I have to focus on hitting and then passing. It’s just more to think about (than libero).
What are your strengths on the court?
My strengths are my passing and vocal leadership. I feel like I’m a really loud person in volleyball. Other than that I‘m pretty quiet.
When did you get started in volleyball?
I’ve been playing volleyball since sixth grade, about six years.
What are your plans for next year?
I’m looking at a few places. I think I’ll play volleyball in college, D-II or D-III, I think.
How did your summer season go with Pittsburgh Elite Volleyball?
It went pretty well. Some tournaments got canceled because of covid, but we ended pretty well. Some of my teammates are committing now, and it’s exciting to see where they are going. We went to Cincinnati, Detroit, Florida, Columbus.
Are you involved in any other sports/activities at Freeport?
I’m on the track team. I did high jump, but I’m thinking about switching.
What is something people might not know about you?
I like to play the ukulele. I’m in band and play trombone, but I taught myself ukulele over the past three years. I was bored and it seemed fun.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
This quote my old volleyball coach told me, “Find a way.” Diana Nyad said that (in her memoir). It’s important because you’re not always going to be the best player, but you need to find a way to push through.
Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.
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