Volleyball looks to improve under Devine

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Contributing Writer

UA Volleyball Coach Lindsey Devine has made it very clear that she wants to impart a new mentality onto the team. Starting back in 2019, Devine was gearing up for a successful 2020 season. She wanted to create a culture where the players became better players not for themselves, but for the good of the team. 

“Before it might’ve been more individual, but we’re playing as one so that’s a big change for us,” Hayley McSparin, senior middle back, said in 2019. 

This new mentality translated to on court play. The players were more vocally supportive of each other, they took responsibility for mistakes and lifted each other up. Devine also preached that her players keep at consistent intensity during the long season. Consistent effort was an area the team struggled in as the season went on. 

Although Alabama volleyball had a strong start, the team began to struggle and lost their last eight. The extended break provided by the pandemic has motivated the players to work even harder as they prepare for a return to the court. With all the new culture and coaching changes that occurred, the team still needed some key positions filled to aid them for the future. 

“We knew that we needed some depth and we knew that we needed some variety,” Devine said in an interview with Volleyball Mag during the offseason.

With that in mind, the team has added some great players to fulfill those needs. Some of the more notable signings include outside hitters Abby Marjama from UC Irvine, Kennedy Muckelroy from Florida Atlantic University and libero Madelyn St. Germain of UT-Arlington. Marjama led the Anteaters with 277 kills last season. St. Germain was the 2019 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year.

St. Germain will complement senior libero Kaylee Thomas on the defense. Marjama and Muckelroy will complement senior outside hitter Doris Carter in attacking the ball on offense and taking swings at the ball. Among the freshman class, Alabama added Chaise Campbell, Victoria Schmer, Kendyl Reaugh and Alexandra Traime. Devine stated that all of these players have a competitive drive and desire to improve their skills, something Devine is trying to consistently cultivate among the team. 

Alabama Volleyball has taken the necessary steps to ensure a successful season in 2020. They have added players, instilled a new mentality and encouraged the consistency most top-ranked volleyball teams have. The next step: have all of this translate onto the court.