Sanger's Lindzi Thomas wins VYPE DFW Public School Volleyball Player of the Year
With a successful high school volleyball career behind her, Lindzi Thomas has capped off her time at Sanger by being voted as the VYPE DFW Public School Volleyball Player of the Year. VYPE DFW was able to catch up with the senior after her accomplishment with an exclusive interview.
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A Successful Career
In 110 matches played for Sanger, Thomas recorded 68 aces with an 88.8 serving percentage. She tallied 960 kills on 3,109 attempts for a .133 hitting percentage and 30.9 kill percentage in her career. Thomas also recorded 62 total blocks, 390 assists, and 859 digs. With such a successful career at Sanger, Thomas was given the opportunity to play at the next level and committed to play for Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.
There's no doubt that a successful career allows an athlete to build many memories that they will cherish. For Thomas, this is the case. "One of my favorite memories definitely has to be when we went to Little Elm beach and played in the sand the whole day and spent time with the team."
The Secret to Success
When someone is good at what they do, plenty of people want to know what the secret to their success is. For Thomas, it comes down to not allowing things to effect her. "I stayed consistent with workouts and making sure to not let anything get in my way for being the best that I can be," she told VYPE. Headed into her senior season, she used that to help her frame her mindset as well. "My mindset has always been: be better than you were before," Thomas said. "You can always be bettering yourself each day- no matter what it is that you are bettering."
As far as the team's success? It boils down to being able to rely on each other according to Thomas. "Honestly, our success came from one another. We all kept each other accountable and we always made sure we were doing what was going to make us better as a team. Also, we were the 'underdogs' in most cases and that just fueled our energy to be the best we can be even more."
Another way athletes are able to be successful is by using the off-season to stay focused. For Thomas, this looks a lot like her everyday life of staying ready and putting in the time to be sure she is physically fit to continue to play. "I stay focused in the off season by putting in the work not only in athletics, but going to the gym and staying constant," Thomas started. "Not only working in the gym, but making sure my health and wellness is also in check to be prepared for the upcoming season."
Goals and Accomplishments
With new seasons comes new goals and with new goals there are things to look forward to accomplishing. For Thomas, her senior year was filled with goals. "The goals that I set for myself this season were to succeed beyond everyone's expectations," Thomas explained. "Not only that, but I wanted to better myself in anyway possible in order to be ready for the next level."
"This year was [the team's] second year playing together with this squad. I honestly had very high expectations and we definitely fulfilled those expectations," Thomas told VYPE about the goals the team had this season. "Every day we worked extremely hard to be the best team that we could be and we were the best team that we could be. I was extremely blessed to be a part of such a great team as well as to go as far as I did with them.
A Bright Future
At the end of her school year, Thomas will head to Rhode Island where she will play volleyball for Johnson and Wales University. "I picked their program because of their success and their willingness to be great," said Thomas. "I will be far from home, but with a program like this as well as the wonderful people and coaches I am going to be with, I know it will be amazing."
Thomas plans to major in criminal justice during her time at Johnson and Wales University.
VYPE was also able to catch up with Coach Scott Montgomery who had a lot of really great things to say about Thomas and her time with Sanger. "Lindzi is the kind of player that every coach loves having on their team," coach Montgomery started. "She has been a captain for two years and leads both with her words and example. She is always encouraging and trying to lift her teammates up. Whenever there was a timeout to try to fix something, she always punctuated anything I said with: 'we've got this,' or 'we're fine.'"
Aside from being encouraging to her teammates, Thomas is well-known for having incredible work ethic says coach Montgomery. "When the world shut down in March of 2020, Lindzi continued to find ways to work out.. at her home, going to the local park, wherever she could go to workout. When the students returned to their computers in May of 2020, there was a noticeable difference in her physique. Once we were able to start practicing together again- it showed on the court."
Adding to the praise of Thomas, her athleticism, and her dedication, coach Montgomery noted that most people would not pick Thomas out as the player who has led the team in kills over the last two seasons as she is only 5-foot-6, but it doesn't take long to see that she is the athlete on the court that stands out. "She is an intelligent hitter who doesn't get flustered," Montgomery added. "She was a full-time setter as a junior and split time between setting and defense on the back row as a senior."
"As you can tell, I could go on and on about Lindzi," said Montgomery. "Her ability, her attitude, her willingness to change based on whatever the team needs in that specific moment, etc. I feel blessed to have been able to coach her and I am excited for her moving forward."
Who is your professional sports team?
"I would probably have to say the Dallas Cowboys."
Who do you look up to as an athlete?
"As a player, I look up to my coaches that have made me the player I am today. I also look up to Lexi Sun from the Nebraska volleyball team. I have watched her for so long and I thrive to be like her."
If you could go to dinner with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be? What would you hope to talk about?
"I picked my grandma Charlie because she passed away before she got to see the person that I am today. I would love to see her and hopefully she would be proud of who I became."