Sophomore star leads team in stats
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 12:09
Loyola’s defense will be led by a sophomore who is no stranger to being a defensive captain.
After playing the defensive specialist position last year, environmental science sophomore Becca Burnett has been moved to the libero position. The position comes with a different colored jersey, more playing time and a list of responsibilities to take care of when receiving the other team’s serve.
“I have to line everybody up and make sure they’re in the correct spot,” said Burnett, who has played the position since seventh grade. “I also have to talk to the hitters and tell them what’s open.”
Head Coach Tommy Harold said that one of the reasons he chose Burnett to play the position this year was because of her ability to communicate with her teammates during matches.
“The biggest thing from her freshman to her sophomore year is that her confidence has come up,” he said. “She’s starting to be more of a vocal leader on the court and that’s important as a libero.”
Burnett’s confidence in her role is also showing up on the stat sheet. She leads the team in digs, which are defended spikes, with an average of 16.8 per game.
Despite her success so far this season, Burnett said she doesn’t like to do anything too complicated when she’s on the court. “I’m just trying to be scrappy and get everything up,” she said.
Harold has also taken note of the effective simplicity of her game. “She’s good defensively, reads well and she’s a steady presence on the court,” he said. “She’s not the flashiest player in the world, but she gets the job done consistently.”
Her consistency appears to be carrying over to the rest of the team. With the two main jobs of the libero being passing and digging, the Wolf Pack are ranked 34th in the nation in assists per game with 11.45 and tenth in the nation in digs per game with 18.74.
Loyola will look to improve on its fast start with a match against Brenau University in Gainsville, Ga. on Sept. 14. Burnett said she’s seeing improvements and thinks they will continue to play well.
“I see progress being made everyday,” she said “We’re taking stuff to the right place.”
Hasani Grayson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org