LA Tech Volleyball Position Breakdowns: Outside Hitters

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RUSTON, La. – As Louisiana Tech’s volleyball team enters its second season under head coach Amber McCray, the team wanted to feature its 20 student-athletes. The fourth position group profiled will be the team’s five outside hitters – senior Carter Mirich, junior Jordyn Carswell and freshmen Marley Maurer, Faith Menary and Mackenzie Murray.

In McCray’s first year, the Lady Techsters improved their hitting percentage by 3.8% from the previous season. LA Tech, however, will have to replace its top two hitters in terms of kills – 2019 seniors Madeline Davis and Kaitlyn Adams – during the 2020-21 season.

Davis paced the team with 257 kills while Adams ranked second with 224 kills. The 2019 senior duo also combined for 85 total blocks.

“Our outside hitters will be undoubtedly one of our most competitive position groups this year,” McCray said. “With three freshmen joining a junior and a senior, we could easily go from upperclassmen loaded to very young just depending on who earns the nod match-to-match.”

Carter Mirich | Senior | Las Vegas, Nev.
Mirich saw action in 76 sets over 26 matches as a junior in McCray’s first season in Ruston. The Las Vegas, Nevada native finished the year with 2.03 kills per set, which ranked as the fourth most on the team. Mirich also showed off her versatility by averaging 2.14 digs per set. The senior posted double-digit kill totals in three matches a year ago and tallied 10 or more digs on six occasions. Mirich delivered a career day against Charlotte in 2019, registering 21 kills and 29 digs while hitting .304. Off the court, Mirich earned a spot on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

Jordyn Carswell | Junior | McKinney, Texas
Carswell played in 72 sets across 27 matches as a sophomore, averaging 2.29 kills and 2.49 digs per set as a six-rotation outside hitter. The McKinney, Texas native notched double-digit kills five times in 2019, leading Tech with 16 and 18 kills in the first two matches of the season. Carswell also recorded a career high in digs in the season opener, saving 24 attacks from Oral Roberts in a five-set victory.

Marley Maurer | Freshman | Caldwell, Texas
Maurer graduated from Caldwell High School in 2020. The first-year Lady Techster was named to the Texas Girl Coaches Association Legacy Team and earned First Team TGCA All-State honors as a senior. Maurer amassed 492 kills with a .300 hitting percentage as a senior, leading her team to a bi-district championship.

Faith Menary | Freshman | Grass Valley, Calif.
Menary graduated from Nevada Union High School in 2020, totaling 1,175 kills, 175 blocks, 487 digs and 204 aces over a stellar high school career. As a senior, Menary led the state with 656 kills during the regular season, earning Foothill Valley League MVP honors and Sacramento Bee All-Metro Team accolades in her final season. The Grass Valley, California native also earned all-league honors as a junior and as a freshman. She also notched three top-25 finishes with her club team – Northern California Volleyball Club (NCVC).

Mackenzie Murray | Freshman | Dripping Springs, Texas
Murray graduated from Dripping Springs High School in 2020, earning three letters for the Tigers. The first-year Lady Techster amassed 810 kills and 765 digs during her high school career. As a senior, she was named a District Offensive MVP and First Team Academic All-District. During her junior year, she led Dripping Springs to the state semifinals.

Coach McCray on Mirich:
“Carter Mirich enters the season with the most collegiate experience at the position, leading us in kills several times a year ago. She also has arguably the heaviest shoulder of the group, and her power has the potential to make a major impact for us offensively.”

Coach McCray on Carswell:
“Jordyn Carswell brings more key experience, leading us in several matches and earning a MVP tournament award to kick off the 2019 season. Finishing top three in total kills and digs last year, she has shown she has the versatility and ability to impact the game in a variety of ways.”

Coach McCray on Maurer:
“One thing we love about newcomer Marley Maurer is her consistency and ability to better the ball, which is critical for an outside hitter. She has a natural platform that makes her an efficient pass-to-attack option complete with the mentality to handle that load.”

Coach McCray on Menary:
“Faith Menary is another solid six-rotation outside hitter with a wide shot selection that allows her to score from multiple areas on the court. Her ability to make solid reads and steps to the ball will prove her an added asset on defense as well.”

Coach McCray on Murray:
“What Mackenzie Murray lacks in size; she adds in explosiveness. She does a great job reaching and giving herself a runway that allows her to speed up-to-tempo balls and make her an effective attacker both front row and back row.”

Keep up with the Lady Techsters throughout the 2020-21 season by following @LATechVB on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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