Volleyball team prepares for Texas A&M matchup

Volleyball team prepares for Texas A&M matchup

Sierra Wilson (1) sets the ball for Bruna Evangelista (20). CW File

Kayla Montgomery

Lawrence said she originally played basketball, but her parents encouraged her to pursue volleyball as she seemed to have a natural talent for the sport. Her dad introduced her to the game, and she knew she had found her niche.

“He was tough on me, but it was good,” Lawrence said. “He really focused on skill development, and when I moved up to club teams, he was really encouraging. Both my mom and my dad provided everything I needed to get here.”

Now only a short distance from Huntsville, Lawrence said the sport is still a family affair, as her parents often come to watch her matches. The University wasn’t always on her radar, though, as her parents both attended Mississippi State and her first campus visit took her to Auburn.

The University of Alabama entered her college search in a whirlwind, offering her a scholarship only three days after seeing the middle blocker. After visiting with the coaches and players, Lawrence said her decision was made.

“I knew that Coach [Ed] Allen was coming, and he had a really good record at his previous schools, and I knew he wanted to change Alabama’s reputation,” she said.

Lawrence is one of four new teammates making an impact on the team this year, and Allen said the middle blocker is certainly talented.

“Leah does a great job of blocking and clearly is going to be one of the best blockers to have ever played here,” Allen said.

This coming weekend, Lawrence and the Crimson Tide will play their second SEC road match against a top 20 team. The team travels to College Station, Texas, on Friday to compete against No. 19 Texas A&M. The Crimson Tide will return home on Sunday to take on South Carolina in Foster Auditorium at 3 p.m.

Previously, the team traveled to Lexington, Kentucky, to take on No. 13 Kentucky, falling to the Wildcats in four sets. After dropping the first two sets, the Crimson Tide battled back to take the third, but a late Kentucky rally in the fourth set secured the match for the Wildcats.

Allen said the match wasn’t the team’s best of the season but his team is continuing to improve as the season unfolds.

“I think we could have served, passed and defended better than what we did,” he said. “I was relatively pleased with the offensive production there. It was a performance where we were average or slightly above average, but it wasn’t our best.”