Today: Apr 21, 2024

Owl Spotting: a look into a four-year volleyball starter

Sean Meenaghan — Photo Editor
Lyons finished first on team in attacks and kills in 2010.

RYAN IANNI — Special to the Southern News

Fierce and passionate, consistent and experienced, smart with the ball and a team leader are just some of the ways that Lisa Barbaro, the head volleyball coach at SCSU, describes what senior Megan Lyons brings to the team on a regular basis in her four years there.

Lyons, a studio art major from Cold Spring, N.Y. did not get to start off her college volleyball career the way she would have hoped.

“I had problems with my transcripts,” said Lyons. “The NCAA didn’t clear me right away, and I had to wait half a season before I could play.”

Surprisingly to Lyons however, she was immediately inserted into the team when she was cleared to play.  Coach Barbaro put Lyons into the most defensive position on the team, which is called the libero.

“I started her off,” said Barbaro, “in her first year really focusing defensively in the libero spot.”

Coming from being an All-State player with a state volleyball title in her senior year of high school to playing at the collegiate level was completely different for Lyons, who says that it is much more competitive compared to her high school days.

With the complicated start to her freshman year behind her, Lyons was ready to start her first full season as a sophomore with high hopes.

“My sophomore year, we did make it to playoffs, which was a big deal for Southern history,” said Lyons.  “We had a great team; everyone was very focused that year.”

Lyons was able to start her second season in the position that Coach Barbaro originally recruited her for, known as an outsider hitter, which is a more attack-minded position compared to the libero.

“She’s one of our most consistent hitters on the outside, she’s very smart with the ball and knows the opponents and when to take the right shots at the right times,” said Barbaro.

Last year, Lyons led the Owls both in attacks and kills, and has been one of the top three attackers in all of her years playing, including the start to the 2011 season.

“I definitely like hitting, that’s my favorite part,” said Lyons.  “I was just happy to be on the court as a freshman, but I really wanted to work to move outside.”

With Lyons moving on from SCSU after this year, she has many younger players looking up to her as an example of how to play the game as well as how to conduct themselves on and off the court.

One such player is freshman and fellow outside hitter Natasha Carlbert from Southington, Conn.  “Megan helps me,” said Carlbert, “almost everyday at practice. Whether it’s my passing or not being where I’m supposed to be on the court, she corrects me, and I’m thankful for that.”

Coach Barbaro acknowledges the type of ethic that Lyons brings day in and day out as something for other players to strive for.

“She’s one of our most fierce competitors,  and she always shows up ready to play on game day,” said Barbaro.

Lyons’s presence has been consistent in the team since her transcript debacle freshman year. What she brings is not lost on her teammates who respect and admire her.  “The team will be missing a powerful player next year,” said Carlbert.  “The team next year is going to have to fill those shoes; she will be missed.”

Lyons however is still focused on this season and hopes that her final season as an Owl can end like her sophomore year.

“I definitely want to make it to playoffs,” said Lyons.  “I don’t want to have any regrets thinking we could have done something different.”

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