Leah Lawrence nears Alabama career block recordBy Ehsan Kassim | 11/08/2017 7:31pm
Alabama fell to Georgia in straight sets on Sunday.
A record that has stood for Alabama volleyball for much of the past two decades is about to be broken.
Senior Leah Lawrence is only eight blocks shy of the Alabama career record of 438 blocks, currently held by Shelly Adamcik (1999-2002).
Lawrence, a four-year starter for Alabama, is excited to have an opportunity to be in a position to break the record. However, she is focused on helping the team, not the individual accolade.
“My main goal day-to-day is to play the best I can individually and play the best I can to make our team better,” Lawrence said.
To set the record would mean a lot to Lawrence, but she is not one to take all the credit for her opportunity to make history.
“It is such a good opportunity,” Lawrence said. “All of my coaches, my parents, my teammates, they have all put me in this position. I am really thankful to them and it is very exciting to be able to do what I do everyday.”
Head coach Ed Allen saw Krystal Rivers set the attacking record for the team last season and has another chance to see one of his players reach for the record books.
Allen does not believe Lawrence's success happened without a reason.
“She often finds herself in the right position, because you could be a good blocker on the wrong place on the net and that’s not going to work so well,” Allen said. “I think her understanding the game is obviously has improved as she has matured as a player. We hope she gets that record against Kentucky.”
Lawrence is the team leader for Alabama in kills (237), hitting percentage (.322) and blocks (104).
While Allen said he wants to see her hit closer to .400, he has been happy with the production and the leadership Lawrence brings to the team.
However for Lawrence, the numbers she has posted so far are not yet satisfactory.
“I know I can always improve,” Lawrence said. “I am always fighting to improve. I see the number where I am at and I am never satisfied with it. I feel it can always be higher and I am very competitive, especially with myself, to beat my career high every single match I play.”
Alabama will take on No. 7 ranked Kentucky on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Foster Auditorium. The Crimson Tide stole a set against the Wildcats in Lexington, Ky. on Oct. 6 and hope to play even better in a home match.
“We hope that we can get a little more balanced and we had two hitters, in Ginger [Perinar] and Leah, that hit really well the last time,” Allen said. “We hope to elevate a couple of more attackers to play well and hopefully we can defend at the same level.”
On Sunday, Alabama fell in straight sets to Georgia. The team was unhappy how it started the match and is looking for a faster start against Kentucky.
“Against good teams, you don’t get many runs,” Allen said. “If you don’t get off to a decent start, it is very difficult to rely on a run at the end of the set in order to win that set against a team that has balance and is talented.”
The team held a meeting and has been working on getting past the uneven match against Georgia, according to Lawrence.
She hopes the team takes what it learned in the prior game against Kentucky and the Georgia match and improves itself.
Lawrence also has one more hope for the Kentucky match Wednesday.
“I am hoping there is going to be a really good crowd,” Lawrence said. “Every person that we can get in here helps us a lot. It creates a tougher atmosphere for our opponents to play in.”
The fans that do come out to the game could see Lawrence break the Alabama career block record.