By Rick Assad
Being able to adjust to any situation has proven invaluable for Sadie Lomet, a four-year varsity player on the Burroughs High girls’ volleyball team.
“Two assets that help me play at a high level are my adaptability and competitiveness. This season I’ve been playing back row as well as middle. Playing a position I’ve never had much experience in, but it’s something that I’ve really wanted to succeed at in order to have more control over the court. Being adaptable has granted me more opportunities,” the senior middle blocker said. “Also, I have trust in my coaches, and I try to do whatever they ask of me, whether it’s to hit an open spot on the court, or to try and rally the team.”
Lomet, whose older sister Bella is playing on the women’s volleyball team at Bates College in Maine, which is an NCAA Division III program, said wanting to succeed is critical.
“Being competitive sets me apart from other players as I am never content with how I play, always wanting to perform better and practice harder,” she explained.
Talent is God-given, but determination and hard work are self-generated.
“You need to train in order to perfect skills or improve plays, however, having good reflexes is necessary in order to get the ball up, make serves, and be an aggressive player,” said Lomet, a three-time Scholar-Athlete Award winner after maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average as a junior and a 3.5 GPA as a sophomore and freshman.
Great athletes don’t become sensational overnight. They have to practice and dedicate their time and effort to getting better.
“Like all skills, volleyball takes practice. In order to make sure I’m playing the best level I can, I try to give my all every opportunity I get, whether that’s at our daily practices, our games, at the kids’ camp I help coach at in the summer or taking stats for the other teams in the programs,” Lomet pointed out. “I think that being a good communicator is an extremely important factor of the sport, along with the physical skills, as it allows the team to play as one unit, allows me to take advice from the coaches, and allows me and my co-captains to connect with the rest of the team.”
Lomet, tabbed All-Pacific League second team as a middle blocker last season, likes the game-day ritual that comes with playing at Burroughs which is 10-8 and 5-4 in league this campaign.
“Our game-day routines have been consistent over the last four years. The program all wears our warmup shirts to school, and then after the bell ending fifth period rings, varsity goes straight to the locker room to change and have a talk listing our goals for the match,” said Lomet, who plays club volleyball for ACTYVE in Santa Monica. “We exchange ribbons for our hair and jog out to the gym to warm up.”
Lomet, who hopes to play volleyball in college or at the very least club, went on: “We meet Coach [Edwin] Real in the team room, where he lays out the three keys that will be necessary to play at the highest level possible,” she noted. “Then, hitting the JBHS sign on the top of the door, we run out and we’re ready to compete.”
Longtime coach Real has seen Lomet develop into a top-tier player.
“As an athlete, Sadie works hard and is dedicated to the sport. She will not settle for anything but her best,” he said. “As a person, she’s easy to talk to and pleasant to be around.”
Real added: “I know what I can expect each day from Sadie. She is focused on volleyball and gives nothing but her best,” he said. “She has high standards in the classroom and that carries on to the court. She is one of my most consistent players.”
There have been some bumps in the road along the way, but it’s never so bad that the ship can’t be righted.
“When our team goes through a rough period in a game, and we’re down a few points, we always remind each other to have a short-term memory in terms of your personal mistakes, as none of your teammates are counting up your mistakes, so neither should you,” Lomet said. “Getting stuck in your head will only continue the rough patch you’re in, so in order to let the team succeed, we work on building up each of our personal mental stamina.”
Volleyball may be in Lomet’s genes as it was Bella, her older sister by two years that forged the love for the game.
“My sister originally drew me to volleyball, playing Park and Recreation at the same time as her. She’s two grades above me, and I was able to play with her during my freshman and sophomore year during high school,” she said. “This feeling does still apply today, as I want to make her and my parents [father Bruce and mother Melisa] proud.”
As one of several a senior captains, Lomet wants to make sure everybody has their role and that each works as a group.
“I consider myself a leader on this team, being captain alongside Tawnie Ohrt and Tara Rauenswinder. I know this team has the potential to have a highly successful season, so I hold us to some pretty high standards,” she said. “I can be tough on our team, however, my reminders and talks throughout practice and after huddles come from a place of aspirations for us.”
High school lasts only four years, and the time can go by quickly.
“The best part of playing high school volleyball is playing on a team with all different grade-levels, allowing the younger classmen to have seniors that have mastered the routines and know how JBHS volleyball is played,” Lomet said.
Having a support group can only be a benefit and it is for Lomet.
“Having everyone’s friends watching creates a sort of family for the program and it’s just super fun to compete playing schools where you know girls on the other team,” Lomet acknowledged.
Knowing the players who came before has also helped propel Lomet to be the best player she can be.
“Our school has had some incredible alumni, and living up to their level of play has been inspiring. Players like Marin Grote, Megan Lynch and Camila Sanchez have driven me and the program to have the drive to play at their level. I expect our team to have a tremendous season, and to work through any struggles we’ve had, as I believe we have great potential to win the league and overall, just have a fulfilling season,” she said. “For myself, I want to finish out my high school volleyball career as a confident player and a leader on the team and play how I know I can play.”
Because the season isn’t over, Lomet still has time to add to her expanding resume.
“Two of my best moments on the court at Burroughs have been playing Burbank each year, which are always full of loud student sections and are highly competitive, crazy matches. Another is carrying my sister’s Senior Night basket to her. Also, getting 19 kills against Granada Hills was a good moment for me, as I was able to produce points for my team,” she said. “Tearing my ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] and meniscus in my knee during my sophomore year was definitely not one of my best moments.”
With any luck, Lomet will help the Bears qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs and see herself make even more notable moments.