LSU volleyball coach Fran Flory said junior defensive specialist Raigen Cianciulli makes every play, even the hard ones, look easy.
Ciancuilli recently became the fastest player in program history to reach 1,000 career digs last season. She has had a pivotal role with the team throughout her time at LSU and is geared up to do the same in her junior season.
“She has impacted and owned that position from the first day she walked in the gym,” Flory said.
Cianciulli says Flory has been nothing but supportive during her time here and that her teammates are her biggest motivator.
“I think my teammates are the main reason in what helps me improve every day,” Cianciulli said. “They make me push harder for them.”
Flory has had nothing but praise for Cianciulli throughout her volleyball career. She knew Raigen would be special from the moment she recruited her. Cianciulli has lived up to that hype.
“She makes plays that nobody thinks are possible to be made,” Flory said . “Everybody thinks the ball is down, but here comes Raigen flying across the court and making a really accurate play.”
As far as milestones go, Cianciulli could wind up in the school’s record books one day. However, she has never been the one to focus on individual stats.
“Again, I give it all to my teammates,” Cianciulli said. “Without them I wouldn’t be able to do any of that.”
Despite these milestones, Flory thinks that Cianciulli will have a down year statistically, but it will not be because of her play.
“This team is a big blocking, physical, and playing over-the-net team in front of her for the first time in two years,” Flory said. “I think she won’t get as beat up playing defense because she’ll have more opportunities to make easier plays and not have to make the heroic play every other play.”
Throughout her journey at LSU, Cianciulli has become a model player and teammate. Her maturity and leadership go far beyond her statistics.
“I think that’s probably the coolest step for me as a coach to watch her take,” Flory said. “Watching her leadership come out on the court is probably the most impressionable thing that I’ve seen this year.”