Leadership knows no age or classification. Being a leader is about setting an example and pushing one’s team in the right direction.
The 2019-20 LSU volleyball team (3-2) has freshmen on the roster than any other team in the past three seasons. The Tigers have six true freshmen and one redshirt freshman. This freshman class was ranked as the No. 13 recruiting class in the nation, the highest in the Southeastern Conference, according to prepvolleyball.com.
While the talent of the newcomers is undeniable, the reality of their inexperience in a collegiate setting can either impair or aid this Tiger team. Much to LSU’s relief, these freshmen have stepped up and have been a big part of the Tigers' success so far this season.
True freshmen Karli Rose and Samarah Hill have quickly made a name for themselves on this Tiger team. Rose, a setter from Tomball, Texas, has proven her abilities, finishing the Cyclone Invitational with a team-high 32 assists and a match-high 24 digs, her second double-double of the year. She added nine kills as well.
“Karli Rose is a dynamic, explosive athlete who will bring a different style to the setting position,” said LSU coach Fran Flory. “Her ability to impact the game from all facets will open the opportunity for us to run a more diverse system.”
Hill, the outside hitter from Oviedo, Florida, finished off this weekend in Iowa with a match-high 18 kills and 11 digs for her second double-double of the season.
Five players had 10 or more digs this weekend, and three of those five players were freshmen—Rose, Hill, and Jill Bohnet, a defensive specialist from the Woodlands, Texas.
Rose and Hill were both named to the Cyclone Invitational All-Tournament team, making this their first awards of their LSU careers, and Bohnet had 14 digs against Iowa State.
Other freshmen who have contributed during matches are middle blockers Allee Morris, from Covington, Louisiana, and Anita Anwusi from Houston. Both have made big stops to shift the momentum in LSU’s favor.
With every match, the young players of this team continue to grow and become more confident.
“I’m not worried about how young our team is this year, and I know that the freshmen will continue to step up and do what we need them to do,” junior right side and team-leader Taylor
With a lot of the season to still look forward to, the Tigers can be assured that all seven freshman will play roles in helping LSU get back in contention in the SEC and nationally.