Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
We inform. You decide.
Friday, May 24, 2024

Football players aren’t the only athletes who have to worry about getting knocked out of a game due to a concussion.

Believe it or not, volleyball players get their fair share of head injuries as well.

Take, for example, Florida senior libero Erin Fleming during the match against LSU on Friday.

“I ended up diving for a ball and the speed took me over the top of my head,” Fleming said. “I hit it pretty good.”

Fleming played the rest of the match, recording a match-high 20 digs.

According to coach Mary Wise, Fleming appeared to have sustained a mild concussion.

“They kept checking me during timeouts and making sure I could hear, could see everything, that my smells were alright, that I wasn’t feeling nauseous,” Fleming said. “After the game I took a couple tests and I was really on that gray line.”

Fleming sat out the next day’s practice and took more tests in hopes of playing against Arkansas on Sunday. Unfortunately for Fleming and the Gators, she didn’t meet the expectations team doctors and trainers hoped for.

After sitting out her only match of the season, Fleming was cleared to practice Tuesday. And the senior is eager to start the second half of the season.

“It’s exciting and kind of sad also that we’re halfway through,” Fleming said. “We’re playing great as a team and I’ve accepted my role and trying to do it the best I can.”

Coming into the season, Fleming was given the responsibility of replacing former UF libero Elyse Cusack.

Cusack ended her career as the Southeastern Conference’s all-time digs leader with 2,138 — not an easy player to replace by someone who had never played the position.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Alligator delivered to your inbox

“Not only is it her first year playing in the libero jersey but it’s the first time she’s ever played in that left-back position,” Wise said. “Previously she played right side early on in her career. It’s a whole new position for her.”

Fleming recorded a career-high 21 digs against Penn State on Sept. 10, and she has recorded the eighth-most digs in the SEC with 163. However, her stats appears to have more to do with the fact that the No. 2 Gators rank second to last as a team in digs.

“It’s a great story — she came here as a walk-on with very limited playing time and here she is starting for a top-10 team,” Wise said.

Even though Fleming was a walk-on, her play suggested otherwise, according to Lauren Bledsoe.

“Even when she was a walk-on — people kind of down that sometimes — she did really well,” Bledsoe said. “She should have been on a scholarship and we all knew that.”

Fleming is still trying to fine-tune her game, specifically her eye sequencing, communication skills and serving.

“I’m still learning,” Fleming said, “so that in December I’ll be ready in my position to help and contribute to the team as much as I can.”

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Independent Florida Alligator has been independent of the university since 1971, your donation today could help #SaveStudentNewsrooms. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Independent Florida Alligator and Campus Communications, Inc.