SU volleyball freshman Clarey endures ups and downs in position switch

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on September 6, 2010 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_isemancenter_img What’s an unenviable position for most is reality for Samantha Clarey, a freshman on the Syracuse volleyball team. Making the transition to outside hitter for SU after playing in the middle all through high school is a challenge Clarey has embraced. Despite a new perspective and switching to a higher style of play, Cleary is accepting of the unenviable. ‘It’s definitely a harder experience,’ Clarey said. ‘It’s great competition, and I know that Coach Jing Pu and all his lessons will make me a better player.’ Clarey doesn’t have the luxury of easing into the collegiate level while playing a position she already knows. Instead, she’s being forced to adjust to a new position and increased competition all at once. Getting her first chance at action in Big East volleyball, Clarey didn’t waste any time making an impression. She saw some playing time at the Colgate Tournament last week, making two blocks and one dig in the Orange’s match against the Raiders.  AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Clarey played middle hitter in high school because it was just that — high school. At the collegiate level, Clarey has specific physical qualities more for an outside hitter than a middle hitter. Her 6-foot-2 stature makes that pretty clear. ‘Height is certainly an advantage,’ Orange assistant coach Shawn Mahmoudi said. ‘Given the fact that she was trained in the middle helps her with blocking on the outside, with there being less movement.’ If anyone would know about making the switch, it’d be fellow outside hitter Hayley Todd. The senior transitioned from middle to outside last season. Todd said she can see why the coaches are having Clarey make the switch. In the middle, a player needs to be quicker, and finesse becomes less important. But playing on the outside is more about timing and defense. It means being able to reach shots on the edges of the court. That being said, a part of Clarey’s background gives her exactly what she needs to do just that. ‘She used to play softball, so she’s got that long nice swing,’ Todd said. ‘She’s got a lot of power in her arm swing. In the middle, you want it to be quicker and smaller.’ Clarey isn’t reluctant to make the change, she said, because she knows it’s best for SU. And with the help of her coaches and teammates, she feels eventually she’ll be able to have success as an outside hitter. There’s no resentment on Clarey’s part in making the switch, but some frustration comes from adjusting to a new position and making mistakes. ‘Sometimes I get frustrated,’ Clarey said. ‘I mean, I try to stay positive all the time, and I was always positive in high school and stuff. But here, it’s a bigger level.’ Until that adjustment period is over, she isn’t expecting to be perfect, even though she might want to be. When it comes to making mistakes, Clarey will be quick to learn from them. It’s just the reality of the situation. ‘From the transition, I’ll make mistakes, and I have,’ Clarey said. ‘But with mistakes come lessons, and with lessons learned, I’ll become a better outside hitter with time.’ [email protected]last_img

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