Star of the North: Sydney Lanoue – Fox21Online

Lanoue and the Bulldogs are hoping to make a postseason run, but they will first face two NSIC opponents at home on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m.

DULUTH, Minn. — Making the UMD volleyball team is no small feat. Ask the team’s super senior, Sydney Lanoue, who’s been all over the pitch.

Lanoue saw plenty of playing time in his first and second seasons. Then 2020 hit and Lanoue, along with athletes across the country, were forced to end their seasons, due to the pandemic. The bright side of that though? An additional year of eligibility was granted.

“”Honestly I want to be here as long as possible, this program is really something special, so when I heard that I had the opportunity to be here for another year, it was a no-brainer for me. Mainly because it worked out for me academically that I was able to extend one of my classes and stay here a bit longer,” says Lanoue, “So it was a no-brainer for me, I like volleyball and I love this program and I love this city and so I thought, why not stay here as long as I can.

During her time as a Bulldog, Lanoue was a player who showed great range on the pitch. This experience translated into a natural leadership role within the team.

“Every year I’ve played I’ve been in a different sort of position. Defensively, I started playing more at right-back, then I was mid-back, then libero, then outside. So I think that in itself has given me better leadership qualities throughout those four years, it’s just playing all those different positions, seeing a lot of different aspects on the pitch,” Lanoue explains.

“She went through some of the trials and tribulations. She was here in 2018 and 2019 when things were a little more normal, pre-covid and we were doing some really good things on the pitch and she kind of knew what that norm and expectation was and so helping lead this group in holding us accountable to some of those same standards that we held two or three years ago, I think that’s really helped us re-establish ourselves as a team that can be in the mix,” said coach- Chief Jim Boos.

This 2018 season was the last time the Bulldogs won an NSIC Tournament championship, a memory Lanoue will treasure for a lifetime.

“The freshman year, putting on the conference tournament and then winning it here at home was something super memorable, something I’ll never forget. Coming into first grade and having a super cool experience like that definitely set the standard for what we want our program to be,” says Lanoue.

The most recent ranking lists UMD as the No. 6 team overall in the country. An experience that every athlete seeks. As Lanoue nears the end of her career, she is proud of where she left the program.

“You could ask anyone on this team, we’ve been really excited this year. Going into every weekend knowing it’s going to be a battle and we’re going to have to play hard every weekend, it’s truly an honor to play for this program and I’m glad I had the opportunity to been here for five years,” says Lanoue.

Lanoue and the Bulldogs are hoping to make a postseason run, but they will first face two NSIC opponents at home on Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 4 p.m.