University of Connecticut junior Elizabeth Kline provided the UConn volleyball team with hustle, energy and a high volleyball IQ in its conference opener victory against the Memphis Tigers, Friday night.
UConn Volleyball Head Coach, Kris Grunwald, said that Kline’s energy aided to the team’s hot start.
“We had one lull in game three and to begin game four,” Grunwald said postgame. “But again, Lizzy (Kline) makes a huge pancake dig and creates a ton of emotion, then we rolled along in game four.”
Kline’s stats do not exactly leap off the page, as she recorded one kill, two assists, one service ace and eight digs. However, her energy and emotion is unmatched on the court.
The junior was constantly making hustle plays, timely digs and even cheering on her teammate’s when she wasn’t on the court. For Grunwald, this is nothing new for Kline, but her presence is a huge reason for the team’s success.
“Liz (Kline) is the heart of our team,” Grunwald said. “If you look for anybody who is the goofball, the energy of the locker room – it’s her. When we are on the bus, if there is someone singing on the microphone and dancing – it’s her. So, she’s a huge part of what we do even though she’s on the floor at limited times.”
Grunwald said that versing a hot team like Memphis, who had won each of their last four games, he needed Kline’s energy.
“That’s one of the things we did tonight, we actually started in a different rotation – thinking that we wanted (Kline’s) energy on the floor to begin the game, rather than waiting three rotations to bring (Kline) in.”
Grunwald said that Kline adds another aspect to the team’s success.
“The key starts that we had, she brings a ton of energy to the floor and she plays defense better than anyone else in our gym and that’s a huge reason why we started where we did,” Grunwald said.
All night, Kline was anticipating the opposing offense of the Memphis Tigers. With a talented and physical offense led by Hannah Flowers and Brianna Kadiku, Kline made their night difficult with each of her hustle plays.
Michael Logan is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.