As one of the few volleyball teams in the area, the Leesville team has to travel far and wide for competition.

The Lady Cats are 0-2 to start the year but hope to turn things around soon under new head coach Rebekah Croney.

"They're hard workers," she said. "They go for everything, and we have some real consistent girls. They want to play, and they're hungry.

On Tuesday night, the Lady Cats had to make the two-hour trek to play Evangel Christian Academy.

In some parts of the country, every small, medium and large school has a volleyball program, but that is not the case in southwest Louisiana.

With no other teams in Vernon Parish or Beauregard Parish and just one, Many, in the Sabine Parish, Leesville is used to spending time together on the bus.

"It's hard," Croney said. "It's exhausting, and my girls are exhausted. You travel a lot more. Tuesday night, we traveled to Shreveport to play Evangel and back. They have to work really hard, but it's good because it means we stand out. We're one of the few."

The Lady Cats are led by senior captains Aaliyah Hameed and Precious Munday. With 24 players on the team, it allows a lot of athletes to get chances at different levels.

"It's been really good because it makes it so I have a deeper bench on JV," Croney said. "They all want to play. Varsity is a little more shallow of a bench, but they're good. It will make it so it is a deeper team in the coming years because I'm going to lose three seniors."

Croney is Algebra II and Art teacher and is stationed at Fort Polk with her husband. Although she was a high school volleyball player, she had to do her research to freshen up her knowledge of the game.

"This is my first year coaching volleyball, at all," she said. "It's been really great. My senior girls have really stepped up on building and developing the JV team, as well. I rely on them a lot.

"It's the same as going back and teaching math after getting a degree in studio art. You have to go back and reteach yourself a lot of stuff."

Leesville plays on the road Monday night at Mansfield but competes at home on Tuesday against Caddo Magnet and Thursday against Hamilton Christian. JV starts at 5 p.m. with the varsity to follow.