Girls Volleyball: Lagestee turning heads at T.F. South
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org October 21, 2013 8:38PM
Leah Lagestee, T.F. South | Vincent D. Johnson/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 23, 2013 6:23AM
Given her skill level, it could have been any of a handful of area private schools that Leah Lagestee brought her volleyball abilities to four years ago.
But not this Lansing native, who is one of the key players for a T.F South team that is enjoying one of the best seasons in the program’s history.
“I’m just a hometown girl,” Lagestee said. “It was always going to be T.F. South. Lansing is a great place to live and play sports in. It’s one giant community that acts like a family.
“I grew up loving the school and loving how the program went. Since I was little I’ve always wanted to play volleyball for that team. This is the team I’ve always dreamed of playing for.”
It’s one of the Southland’s best in 2013. The Rebels entered the week at 26-4, captured tournament titles at Joliet Central and Oak Lawn, and are in position to earn at least a tie for first place with Lemont in the South Suburban Blue.
Lagestee, a 5-foot-11 middle hitter, has 107 blocks and 123 kills on a team that also features power hitters Crystal Lee, Madyson Anthony and Briana Lilly and defensive whiz Ashtyn Kapovich.
T.F. South is the No. 6 seed in the mega-tough Sandburg Sectional and will open the postseason in the Andrew Regional.
“Before this season the teams I’ve been on before for club and school have never won a tournament or anything,” Lagestee said. “This year we’ve won two.
“This week we want to get conference under our belt, and we want to take regionals. If we can get a regional title, I’ll be the happiest I’ve ever been. It’s just a great ride, a great feeling to be on a team that I love.”
Lagestee, 18, is in her third season on the Rebels varsity. As a junior, she put down 230 kills en route to earning SouthtownStar All-Area status.
“Leah is a very aggressive and intense player,” T.F. South coach Kim Sands said. “When the pressure is on, her volleyball instincts allow her to make big plays for the team. We would not be as competitive or complete without her in the middle.”
The second in her family to play for T.F. South, Lagestee is following in the footsteps of her older sister, Dana Clausing, who competed for the Rebels in the mid-2000s.
“They were actually really good,” Lagestee said. “She was on the team with Angie Porche, who went on to play at Valpo (Valparaiso).”
Lagestee, at the time, played park district level volleyball at the Lansing Old Timers Complex.
“I just fell in love with the sport right when I started playing,” she said. “It was just exciting. It never got old for me. I loved the feeling of coming together as a team, and turning heads.”