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It’s not very common for college athletes to be starters as freshmen. However, all the way from Plano, Texas, freshman libero Rachel Brummitt has made this achievement a reality.
Brummitt, who was recently named the Defensive Player of the Week in the Big South, has managed to post some pretty impressive numbers in the short time she’s been here at RU.
“So far the season’s going good,” Brummitt said. “We’re really just trying to get better game by game and work hard in practice. Throughout the season I feel like my numbers are getting stronger and I’m feeling more comfortable with my teammates and my position, so I’m growing.”
Brummitt’s defensive efforts have allowed her to have three games this season in which she managed 30 or more digs for the Highlanders, these were the games against Manhattan, Liberty and High Point. That total is more than any other player in the Big South so far. She also has had six games this season in which she managed at least 20 digs. It’s her best statistical category as she manages to average a total of about five per game.
Brummitt has been playing volleyball since the fourth grade, and in that time she’s played it competitively for about six to seven years at a higher level. She also said at one point she was playing volleyball, basketball, soccer and softball. Her parents finally decided to make her choose one sport to play, and Brummitt decided to play volleyball because she had friends who were playing on her school’s team.
“My two best friends played volleyball, so I decided that I was going to play volleyball,” Brummitt said.
In high school, Brummitt managed to build up an impressive list of accomplishments. Some of these include being awarded the District 8-5A Defensive Player of the Year Award; she was named one of the top 39 liberos in the country by PrepVolleyball.com, and she was selected to the 2011 Defensive Dandies second team.
She was recruited by Coach Jenkins out of high school to play volleyball for the Highlanders. She said that when she first came to Radford, adjusting was difficult for her.
“At first I was really homesick,” Brummitt said. “It’s a lot different than back home in Texas and the girls helped a lot and it’s gotten a lot better but it was a struggle at first.”
There are several differences between high school volleyball and college volleyball that Brummitt discovered.
“It’s definitely a lot more serious,” Brummitt said. “It’s just a bigger game, a little faster. You’re really working for your seniors again and for your teammates more than just in club where you’ll be with the same girls. You are really working to help your teammates and playing for each other in every game.”
So far, Brummitt has played a total of 81 games, and has managed a total of 30 points for the Highlanders. Brummitt is also leading the team in digs, posting an impressive total of 412 on the season. Her numbers and achievements, however impressive they may appear, are not what she likes most about volleyball.
“We’re so close with all the girls, and how it is kind of like a family, and when you have a bad day and there’s always someone there to pick you up, so it’s really nice to just have people there for you,” Brummitt said.
RU volleyball currently stands with a record of 8-11 overall and 2-3 in the Big South conference.
You can see Brummitt, along with the rest of the volleyball team play on both Oct. 14 and Oct. 15 against Charleston Southern University and then Coastal Carolina University as a part of RU’s upcoming homecoming week.