Volleyball's Adams in a class all her own
Nov. 10, 2011
Natalie England, TexasSports.com
To call Texas Volleyball’s Rachael Adams organized would just be redundant. The two naturally seem to go hand-in-hand.
Obsessive might be a more accurate description.
“My planner is key,” Adams says. “I’m very specific when it comes to planners because I like a certain layout. I spend a couple hours looking for the perfect one.”
Adams’ planner is color-coded and handled with care. Even the entries are plotted. First she handwrites in a season’s worth of volleyball matches, class examination times and assignment due dates. Her tried-and-true method for memory and time management was developed in high school, and it’s buoyed Adams throughout her four years with the Texas Longhorns.
The advertising major is on track to graduate in May and is a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes student-athletes who excel in areas of community, classroom, character and competition.
“I stay organized for everything I want to accomplish in a day, and even on Sundays,” Adams said. “I have to plan out my days and have goals for the week, things I want to get done. If I don’t write it down, I’ll forget it.”
Adams’ thorough approach to her classwork mirrors her work ethic on the volleyball court. She led the nation in hitting percentage last season as a first-team All-American, and Adams remains an offensive workhorse for the Longhorns in 2011.
She ranks No. 1 in the Big 12 with her .381 hitting percentage and fourth in the league with 1.18 blocks per set.
“Rachael knows what this program is about, and she holds that standard,” sophomore setter Hannah Allison said. “One of her strongest qualities is that she’s honest. She doesn’t hide behind anything. If she sees something, she’ll tell you, and if she feels something, she’ll tell you. That’s really important.”
The Longhorns now as much as ever need Adams’ quiet leadership. Khat Bell was shaping into national freshman of the year form since her move to the middle blocker position in early October, but Bell has been lost for the season after suffering a knee injury in last Saturday’s win against Kansas.
Bell left the match during the second set, and the Longhorns were forced to five for the first time since beating Iowa State on Oct. 2. Adams totaled 12 kills and five total blocks, while hitting. 444 against the Jayhawks.
“She can be our best offensive weapon when she puts her mind to it,” head coach Jerritt Elliott said of Adams. “She still needs to take over and get quality swings.”