Freshman first-timers experience postseason


Zachary Strain

Sara Hattis, Middle Blocker

Rachel Thompson

One year ago, they were stealing courtside attention on high school volleyball teams. Now, five UT freshmen are lighting up Gregory Gym, proving their talent week after week and encountering their first NCAA tournament experiences.

“They’re playing like veterans,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said. “It’s one of the reasons that we schedule so tough at the beginning. Now they’re used to playing high-level volleyball.”

For Kat Brooks, Nicole Dalton, Sara Hattis, Molly McCage and Amy Neal, this season has meant a flurry of new experiences and excitement for what’s to come as they enter the toughest part of the season.

Kat Brooks, Libero
“If you lose, you go home, so we really have this drive to win and to play our best every night. Gregory’s been so full lately and it’s been amazing.”

Sara Hattis, Middle Blocker
“It’s really exciting to be with this team because we’re really special and we have a chance to do something that not many schools and teams can. Games are just unbelievable.”

Molly McCage, Middle Blocker
“I’m looking forward to competitive play. I feel like Florida’s going to play out of their minds. I’m so glad we’re home and we have so many people behind us.”

Amy Neal, Libero/Outside Hitter
“Now we just have to do everything we can. Practice is really focused and every team’s good. I think we’re prepared. I think it’ll turn out really well for us.”

Nicole Dalton, Outside Hitter/Setter
Dalton has played 90 sets for the Longhorns and started in 13 sets, earning 35 kills and tallying 56.5 points in her first year. Dalton was unavailable for comment.

Printed on Friday, December 6, 2012 as: Freshman first-timers experience postseason