A poll on the Lakeside volleyball Web site asks visitors what they think would draw larger crowds at Panthers home matches.
The Panthers haven't yet found the answer, but their play has been worthy of attention.
Coach Danielle Gonzalez's team was 6-2 at the end of last week, with a 6-0 record in Region 3-AAAA.
"Our gym is so quiet a lot of times," Gonzalez said. "I beg for fans to come, and still the gym is empty."
The numbers might increase if the Panthers continue their recent success. On Sept. 11, Lakeside didn't drop a game in beating Hephzibah and Glenn Hills at home.
Lakeside dropped the Rebels 2-0, but not after tense moments in both games. The Panthers staved off a minor comeback during the first, beating Hephzibah, 25-15, after the Rebels had pulled within six. Hephzibah jumped out to a 7-2 lead to start the second game, but Lakeside picked up the next six points to take the lead and won the game, 25-16.
The Panthers play two non-region matches today before resuming their region schedule Thursday at Westside.
Gonzalez lost two key seniors, Kirtley Hitt and Molly Wright, from last year's squad. But the coach said she's pleased with the way the 2008 team has come together, and that they've responded well when she's pushed them.
"You can't be lazy and play for me," Gonzalez said.
The Panthers might benefit from no longer having to face Greenbrier as a region match. The Wolfpack won the 3-AAAA title last year before moving up to AAAAA this season. But Gonzalez said she enjoyed the competition the Wolfpack brought to the region.
The teams still will play twice this season. Coach Debbie Born's Greenbrier squad won the first meeting 2-0. They'll meet again Saturday.
"It's a great rivalry," Gonzalez said. "I think Debbie's done an awesome job. I hope the love of volleyball in the area steps up."
And maybe then a few more Panthers fans will dot the stands.
"I hope to see the day we play in front of a home crowd," Gonzalez said. "At a school this size, there's no excuse."
Lakeside volleyball this week
Today: 5 p.m. vs. Aquinas, vs. Aiken
Thursday: 5 p.m. at Westside, 6 p.m. vs. Butler (at Westside)
Saturday: Wolfpack Playday -- at Greenbrier, Aquinas, Heritage School and Oconee County
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