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The sky could be the limit for SEMO outside hitter Lucy Ardnt
In a season filled with success and some historic moments, it might have been easy to forget the contributions to SEMO volleyball from freshman outside hitter Lucy Arndt.
Arndt was on SEMO’s radar early on early in her high school career and were one her first offers, which made things easier in recruiting her according to head coach Julie Yankus.
Arndt’s abilities were quickly realized by coaching staff and teammates alike. Coach Yankus said during the first couple days of preseason scrimmages the freshman outside hitter opened eyes with her stats and performance in those scrimmages.
“We're looking at the numbers and realizing that, you know, she's competing and doing better than, you know, some people with a lot of experience on the team,” Yankus said.
Senior setter Izzy Lukens said that Arndt’s confidence in her abilities so early in her college career is what got her attention.
“I think the first week she was here she would swing at balls a lot of hitters I don't think would be confident enough to swing at,” Lukens said. “That made me realize that she's a very aggressive hitter and that she can make a big difference on this team.”
In her debut season with the Redhawks, Arndt finished second on the team digs and service aces, third in total blocks and led the team in kills and points. She also finished third in the OVC in kills and points.
Arndt said support from her teammates and coaches is what allowed her to immediately make a difference for the team.
“I think it's because of my coaches and the players on the team who pushed me every single day in practice and make me work as hard,” Arndt said.
Her efforts on the court were rewarded with accolades. Her big awards came towards the end of the season where Ardnt was named OVC freshman of the year and was selected to the All-OVC first team.
“Now that I've received those awards, I want to keep up those awards,” Arndt said.
With so many accomplishments for just her freshman season, one would think it might be easy for Arndt to become complacent, but Yankus says that Arndt’s work ethic is one attribute that separates her.
“She works really hard to get better,” Yankus said. “Part of that comes from just her desire to learn and you know, grow in the game itself. Just because she's been doing great does not mean she doesn't come to the coach's lot with questions.”
Yankus added that the freshman’s talent and work ethic could lead her to great highs such as possibly winning an OVC player of the year in the future.
“If she keeps being the player, you know, we see in her now, I mean, who's to say she can't be the Player of the Year in the future,” Yankus said.