By Lindsey Frazier
CLAIRE C. LAURENCE/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wildcat freshmen volleyball players Amy Dyck, left, Dominique Lamb, center, and Krista Chin have stepped up early in their Wildcat careers to make an impact on this year's team. The trio has seen significant playing time in the wake of injuries suffered by other Wildcats early this season.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 23, 2004
No. 14 UA volleyball team relies on youthful trio in wake of injuries
At the onset of the 2004 volleyball season, Arizona freshmen outside hitter Dominique Lamb, libero Krista Chin and setter Amy Dyck knew better than to expect much playing time with a deep and talented group of Wildcats returning.
But with injuries and illness plaguing veterans Kim Glass, Meghan Cumpston and Jennifer Abernathy, the team's freshman class brought new energy and health to the team, not to mention a pair of tournament championships and an 8-2 overall record so far.
Dominique Lamb - OH
"Fortunately for Dominique, she's had a chance to play quite a bit because of the injuries and the fact that she's deserving to play," said UA head coach Dave Rubio. "She is such a terrific athlete. But she's inexperienced, so she'll kind of get her moments while playing."
Lamb has already made her presence known, as she's become a regular starter averaging 2.5 kills per game in the last three tournaments.
"(There is) a little bit of pressure because I'm new and you have to step up and fill the shoes of someone else," Lamb said. "So you kind of step up there and do as they would do."
"I think (Lamb) would really benefit from playing every single second if she could," Rubio said of her competitive position as an outside hitter.
Lamb, who had two kills, three assists and two digs in Arizona's four-game win over Albany last weekend, said she follows the example of junior outside hitter Kim Glass.
"Even though (Glass) hasn't been practicing and been on all our trips, I feel that she's been where I've been," Lamb added.
But Lamb doesn't shy from the spotlight, which she says is one of the best things about being a collegiate athlete.
"(I like) all the attention you get and the school looking at athletics," she said. "(It's fun) just being in the spotlight a lot."
Krista Chin - L
Libero Krista Chin has not been given as much starting time as her teammate, but she is hoping to become the team's starting libero over the next couple of seasons.
"(I'm learning about) the overall system," said Chin. "The defensive system they play here is a lot different than in club. The passing is also really different here."
"(Lamb will) probably play more than maybe Krista and Amy," Rubio added. "Amy's still nursing a back (injury) and Krista is coming along real well, and we're hoping that she's the libero of the future."
Chin is also no stranger to competitive international volleyball, as she has taken trips to China and the Dominican Republic to train with their national teams.
"It was an incredible experience," she said. "The first day in China was really tough - we didn't touch the ball there because they hit it so hard. At the end of the week, we were keeping up with them."
"There's definitely pressure," Chin admitted of playing so soon. "There's pressure whether there are injuries, whether there's not. I think I've been doing all right, stepping in. Hopefully it will only continue to get better."
Chin, a native of Wheeling, Ill., said she based much of her decision to come to Arizona on the Wildcats' well-known veteran athletes.
"Kim (Glass) was actually a big influence in my decision to come here," Chin said. "Kelli (Mulvany) is always such a leader on and off the court. She's so confident and that's something I need, so I really look up to her."
Amy Dyck - S
Setter Amy Dyck did not have much choice as a child. She was meant to play sports.
Her father Jack Dyck played basketball and volleyball at Cal-State Northridge, her uncle Mike Casey wrestled for Arizona and her great-uncle Jim Dyck played baseball for the St. Louis Browns, Baltimore Orioles and Cincinnati Reds.
"I think that I was pretty much running around and throwing a ball around with my parents and my brother as early as I could," Dyck said. "I was just always playing sports and always being active. I didn't like sitting around much when I was little."
Dyck also lettered in basketball twice and in track and field four times in high school before opting for volleyball.
"I think that I saw that I had more opportunities in volleyball," said Dyck, who contributed nine kills, one assist, one service ace and three digs in Arizona's three game sweep over Temple. "It seemed to be the sport that came most naturally for me - that I enjoyed the most and saw the most future in."
Dyck will compete for playing time with fellow setter and sophomore Stephanie Butkus.
"(Butkus) and I both look at it as, whoever's playing the best is going to be on the court," she said. "If the team's winning, that's all that matters. We're not going to get mad at each other if the other one's playing more. We just want the best player on the court."
In addition as a source of competition, Dyck said she has already learned a lot by watching Butkus.
"She just really leads by example," Dyck added. "Whenever the coaches are explaining something and I don't understand what they're trying to say, I can just watch her and then all of a sudden it clicks because she is so technically sound."
"I just take each day as a learning experience," Dyck said on her outlook for the season. "I'm not setting my expectations too high. I take it day by day and learn what I can from each practice. I take what I can from each player and everything that the coaches say just so that by the end of the season - whether or not I'm playing a lot - I'm a better player."