Courtesy of Gary VanDenBerg
Courtesy of Gary VanDenBerg
It’s hard to miss Lana Razma on the volleyball court. She does about everything for the Durango High School volleyball team. Everything she does, she does well.
“Lana’s everywhere she needs to be all the time. You can count on Lana,” Durango head coach Colleen Vogt said. “It’s hard to ever take her off the court because she’s under every ball. She brings such fire and momentum to our team and is such a solid presence.”
Behind Razma, the Demons are off to one of their best starts in years after winning their first four matches, three of which came in three sets. It’s Durango’s first 4-0 start since 2010, when the Demons won their first six games on the way to making it to the quarterfinals of the 4A state tournament.
Razma played in every set of the first three matches and has a serving percentage of 92.3, which is the highest among Demons who have attempted more than one serve this season.
But the senior captain is at her best when she’s playing at the net. She led Durango with 196 kills last season as an outside hitter, but this season she’s in the midst of a position change after being moved to the right side, where she sees less action.
“That gets kind of frustrating when you don’t touch the ball every time, especially after last year being on the outside I got the ball a lot of the time,” Razma said of playing the right side. “Now you kind of have to watch, but you play a lot more of the covering and a big part of it is blocking. You’re helping your team in other ways but it’s hard sometimes when you don’t get set as much as you want.”
With fewer sets coming her way, Razma’s kills are down this season – so far she’s averaging 2.2 kills per set compared with 2.7 in 2016. But her move to the right side has made for a more balanced attack at the net for the Demons. With opposing teams forced to respect her hitting from the right side there are more openings for outside hitters such as Brett Rowland and Ally Snow – who are tied with each other for kills leader so far this season – to rain down kills on the opposition.
It has been a successful experiment so far. Vogt applauded Razma’s willingness to sacrifice her individual success and statistics for the betterment of the team, and said the move has worked so well because the athleticism Razma brings to the court.
“She’s so fast and such a powerful and explosive hitter she’s going to bring a lot of offense to us on the right side that we can really be explosive over there,” Vogt said. “She’s so good on the right side because she’s so quick. She can be unstoppable.”
If Razma, the daughter of Kristina and Peter “Ed” Razma, can be unstoppable from the right side, it could push the Demons to a new level on the court.
Durango has been a mid-level team the past few years with an overall record floating around .500. The changes to the lineup have helped, but Razma said the team’s mentality could push them further.
“We don’t get down as much as we did last year,” she said. “People are a lot more level headed and don’t get down on themselves, and we don’t get down on each other.”
Even the mentality of being more positive on the court can be partially credited to Razma.
Razma said she learned during her junior to let bad plays go instead of dwelling on them. She made being more positive a point of focus in her approach to her senior season, and it wouldn’t be shocking if other members of the team followed her lead.
She’s a natural leader; a student council member and student body vice president with a grade-point average above 4.0 who Vogt said everyone on the team seems to have a connection with.
“I feel like if the younger girls were going to go to anybody it’d be Lana,” Vogt said. “Everybody feels like they can trust Lana. She’s so caring and easy going and friendly. She’s a great student and all-around perfect senior captain.”