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Saturday, August 18, 2012
She is a bubbly bundle of energy that never seems to have a bad minute, much less a bad day.
Freshman outside hitter Brittnay Estes brings a new dynamic to the Lipscomb Lady Bisons volleyball team. On the court, despite being only 5-foot-10, she is a powerhouse posting 394 kills and 257 digs her senior season.
“I don’t think she ever lets her height bother her,” Lipscomb coach Brandon Rosenthal said. “She has a wonderful arm. When she hits the ball a little bit of that size factor goes away. Plus she also jumps well.
“She is an all-around athlete. She ran track and competed in the high jump. She played softball.”
Estes credits her father, Mike for her jumping ability. Mike, standing 5-11, can dunk a basketball.
“My Dad is an amazing athlete,” Estes said. “I got my competitiveness from him too. I was always taught to compete and to try to win.”
Estes and setter Rachel Reed earned co-Player of the Year honors in Pinellas County. Both signed with the Lady Bisons to continue their volleyball careers after playing for two-time state champion East Lake High School in Palm Harbor, Fla. She also was a member of the Tampa Bay Juniors 18 Black, the USA Volleyball 18 Open National Championship team this year.
She points to her coaches for showing her ways to avoid having her height become an issue on the court.
“They taught me how to tool the blocks,” Estes said. “They taught me shots. They taught me how to swing a different way so I could put a ball down. The coaching and the jumping are how I got to where I am now.”
Estes watches other players on her teams as well as opposing players who might be better players than her.
“I watch how they hit the ball,” Estes said. “I watch the shots that they hit at certain times.
“They have heavy hands which mean they hit the ball hard. If I am going to be like them then I have to have heavy hands.”
That constant drive to make herself better and to become an important member of the team is already evident in preseason.
“The kid is a winner,” Rosenthal said. “She wants to be out on the court. She plays hard all the time. She works hard in practice. She is very focused on the court. I think that energy really is going to get her to that next level in college.”
She is a student of the game in all areas with a strong focus for what is taking place on the court.
“Brittnay has been very inquisitive in a good way,” Rosenthal said. “She is not asking questions just to ask questions.
“She is very detail oriented in her thinking. She really dissects the game. It is neat to see that because she is taking it all in.”
Estes, a communications major with an emphasis in television broadcasting, wants to be a starter as a freshman and she stresses that she approaches practice with that goal in mind.
“I’m pushing myself because I do want a starting spot,” Estes said. “When I have a goal I want to accomplish that.”
The team has spoken by telephone with Alan Williams, author of “Walk On” about his experiences as a walk on basketball player at Wake Forest, and the founder of Teammates First. Estes took note of what Williams had to say.
“He talked about process over outcome,” Estes said. “You do the little things first to get you to the big goal.
“That is what I am really trying to do. I’m working hard during practices which are the process.”
Rosenthal’s teams have a reputation for hard work, but Estes doesn’t mind the demands.
“When you have high expectations put on you then you have to be both mentally and physically prepared for all situations,” Estes said. “Everything is so much more fast paced in sense of knowing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and how it needs to be done.
“Practice has been rough. It is more challenging because you know what you are expected to do. It’s like a job and I can accept that because this is what we love.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relation for Lipscomb Athletics.