In 1999, two really good things happened. SCVA Class of 2017 libero Ali Lawson was born. And volleyball added the position of libero internationally to bring a faster pace and more excitement to the game. What’s a libero? Well, “libero” is an Italian word meaning “free.” In volleyball the libero is a player specialized in defensive skills. The libero is, generally, the most skilled defensive player on the team. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself,” and opposing SCVA Division 1 teams need fear Ali, an accomplished indoor libero and sand player. VolleyCall’s eye on talent asked 2014 Tstreet 15-Chris and 5-year Tstreet veteran libero #5 Ali Lawson, a defacto charter member of the Tstreet family, to contribute her view on being a top libero.
In Ali’s words.
“To say the least, volleyball has had such an impact on my life. The countless hours in the gym, extra privates and training, adapting to new dynamics each year, endless bruises, forever burning legs all to not be reassured of what the future holds. Personally I think it’s pretty strange to be putting my feelings of what life as a libero is considering volleyball is such a small, but still important, part of living. In doing this I’ve realized though that really volleyball is a big part of life. It really isn’t just a game. I’ve learned so many things through my five years of playing. I’ve most definitely experienced high points, which came with low points. I’ve been able to experience that your name and your family members aren’t enough to get you through, only hard work will ever be enough, if even enough at that. It’s pretty surreal to think that my least favorite part of the game is also my favorite. In all honesty I don’t really even understand the concept. How I see it is, it’s not always fun having complete pressure all on you to set up the entire play, I actually really dislike it, but when you take that out of perspective and realize that when you really do get the best pass to your ability, it’s incomparably, the best feeling. Wearing a different colored jersey doesn’t come with as much acknowledgement and recognition as the one to actually kill the ball I’ve had to learn, but what it does come with is self-satisfaction. I find it so intriguing that my position has made it possible for me to be my biggest supporter. Unfortunately it also comes with the ability for me to be my biggest competition. That’s just another thing I’ve been able to learn through this sport though, that at my lowest point, I can still be the biggest component in making my comeback. I relish the ability to dig the player on the opposite side’s ball they think is going down. I can’t explain the incomparable feeling of getting a pancake. I love reminiscing over the balls no one expected me to get. I accept that I need to dig with every single part of my body not just my hands. I love being so short compared to everyone else in the huddle and around me on the court. I wouldn’t rather be anything else than a libero. What I would be grateful for in my future is to not only become a better player so I can continue playing through college, but also to be able to become a better person. I hope to have more difficult times, I hope to have more good times, and I hope to be able to experience everything volleyball has to offer.”