Midseason check-in: Thompson settles into leadership role for GV Volleyball

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Midseason check-in: Thompson settles into leadership role for GV Volleyball

GVL \ Meghan Landgren

GVL \ Meghan Landgren

GVL \ Meghan Landgren

GVL \ Meghan Landgren

Rosemary Booher, Staff Writer

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It’s mid-season for the volleyball team here at Grand Valley State University, and the Lakers may have finally found the leader that they have been searching for all season long. Even though she is only a sophomore, Ali Thompson leads her team with 208 kills and 23 service aces, as well as being the runner-up for digs with 222. Her leadership was recognized, as she was recently named GLIAC South Player of the Week.

“I was not expecting to be named Player of the Week at all, but I was super excited when I found out,” Thompson said. “It was really encouraging for me and my outside hitting because I’ve really been working on becoming more consistent on the outside. In high school and club I played middle, so switching to the outside in college has been a change for me. My coaches keep telling me to trust the process and keep working at it, so getting named Player of the Week is encouraging that I’m finally getting to the place I want to be on the outside.”

One of the matches that led to her being named GLIAC South Player of the Week was against the Ferris State Bulldogs, the No. 1 ranked team in the conference. During this match-up, Thompson had a season high of 22 kills and the next day against the Northwood Timberwolves, she had 16 more, allowing her to total 36 kills in just two days.

Thompson intends to take her performance from these two matches and use it to better herself and the team as well. 

“I’ll take those games and learn from the good and bad in them,” Thompson said. “I’ll figure out what worked well and try to keep doing it, and also learn from my mistakes. Also, I think the setters and I connected well last weekend. They gave me a lot of opportunities by putting me in great spots with their sets.”

Getting used to her new position of outside hitter at the collegiate level is one of the things that Thompson hopes to improve on, but it isn’t the only goal that she has in mind. Consistency and leaderships are two other aspects that she plans on focusing on.

“My goals for the season personally are to continue to get more consistent on the outside and to try to be the best leader I can,” Thompson said. “Overall, my main goal for the season is that we continue to improve as a team. We’ve taken a lot of steps forward, but we still have a ton of room for growth. We have so much raw talent and athleticism, I’d like to see us start to play more consistent and pull out some big wins.”

Having room for growth is one thing that GVSU’s volleyball team is certain to have in store for them. This season, almost the entire team is comprised of underclassmen, meaning that there is plenty to learn and because of that Thompson has taken on a leadership role to guide them.

“It definitely creates a larger leadership role,” Thompson said. “We only have one upperclassman playing on the court, two sophomores and five freshmen. We are super young, so that put more leadership responsibilities on all the returners.”

Even though the team is young this year, Thompson has faith that they will be capable of great things as soon as they become more consistent.

“I love our team this year and think we have a lot of skill and depth,” Thompson said. “We have had a lot of close games and a lot of moments where we do great things, we just need to play at a high level more consistently.”