Edmond’s offense and energy brings a lot to the floor


Outside hitter Leah Edmond attacks the ball during the match against Saint Louis on Saturday, September 10, 2016 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won the match 3-0. Photo by Hunter Mitchell | Staff

Keyera Jackson

Leah Edmond had a big season last year, finishing her freshman season on the UK women’s volleyball team as an AVCA Third-Team All American, the SEC Freshman of the Year, a member of the All-SEC Team and SEC All-Freshman Team. Now, she is ready to go big this season.

Edmond earned all those honors by being an offensive powerhouse for the Cats, averaging 4.25 kills per set, leading the Cats. That stat also ranked second in the SEC and 33rd in the nation.

Edmond’s impressive numbers earned her a spot on team USA for the U20 FIVB Volleyball World Championships hosted in Mexico. Edmond ranked 17th out of all players in points, collecting 76 kills, nine blocks and two serving-aces.

“It was a completely different volleyball from college, internationals is a lot faster, and some of these girls have been training for a lot longer,” Edmond said.

Edmond learned a lot from her experiences in Mexico, including playing with different players at a different pace of the game.

On top of learning adaptability, another takeaway skill Edmond learned was, “keeping the ball up and not being afraid to go after it.”

Edmond is always looking to improve her game and learn from the best above her, and the experience on team USA will benefit Edmond as she continues her sophomore season of volleyball at UK.

Now, with the experiences with team USA and her freshman season, Edmond is trying to improve in an area where she didn’t excel as much last season, on the defense.

“I want to be more involved on defense, I have been working a lot on my blocking, and back row defense with getting big balls,” Edmond said.

Whether Edmond contributes offensively or defensively for the Cats, her presence on the floor alone is energetic. When she is on the floor, her celebrations not only for herself but also for her teammates are often the driving factor for the team. Her teammates feed off of Edmond’s burst of energy and this momentum that she creates has been a successful part in big plays created by the Cats and even bigger finishes.

Her energetic energy has especially rubbed off on the freshmen as they find their role on the team like Edmond did last year.

“They add so much to our team, they push all of us from sophomores all the way up to seniors to be our best at all times,” Edmond said.

This year’s freshmen group is often considered calm and collected, but on the floor, it’s a different story. These freshmen are adding to that burst of energy that Edmond presents and they are bringing a different level to the team.

Edmond’s burst of energy does not start randomly every game. She has a game day preparation that assists with her level of energy.

“It starts with a meal, and I am very specific. I have to have a bunch of proteins and I have a playlist of 200 songs, I have to get through half of them, and I have to listen to 10 specific songs” Edmond said. “I hang out with the team and we listen to music and then go and play.”

Edmond described her and the team as “underdogs” and she feels that the team is still underestimated because of their young age group.

“Watch out for us because having that young edge can really help us win games,” Edmond said.

Edmond is ready to continue her sophomore season with the Cats and the underdogs are ready to compete.