Experience pays off for Dickson, Volleyball
Nov. 17, 2010
Texas Volleyball head coach Jerritt Elliott has called this one of the more special seasons of his coaching career, and he credits his players.
“I’m amazed with how united and how connected our team stays when faced with adversity,” Elliott says. “You learn a lot about your team when they face adversity, in terms of how they’ve been able to respond, have fun with it, embrace it and most importantly, compete.”
Lauren Dickson is the latest Longhorn to step into that role. With Amber Roberson hampered by an injury, Dickson was forced into action in both of Texas’ matches last week. In a 3-1 victory at Texas Tech last Saturday, Dickson totaled a UT career-high eight kills on the day and posted a season-high .381 attack mark to go with her 11-dig effort.
“Before she even knew Amber was injured, she started playing at a very high level in our gym,” Elliott said. “That gave me a lot of confidence and gave her teammates a lot of confidence. She was great. We were excited for her defense.”
Dickson arrived almost serendipitously this summer. After playing four years at Virginia, Dickson returned to her hometown university for graduate business school, inquired about practicing with the Longhorns and ended up with an invitation to join the team.
She’s provided UT with a strong-serving option off the bench and much-needed experience.
“Lauren’s a great player. She reminds me a lot of a beach player, just because she’s so specific with her shots,” senior Jen Doris said. “We’re so happy for her. You never know here at Texas when your number is going to be called. She’s stepped up when we needed her.”
Volleyball has also helped Dickson, who will earn her master’s in public accounting in May, balance the stresses that come with age. This semester, she’s been enduring job interviews, call-backs and the agonizing wait in between.
Just last week, though, Dickson was offered and accepted a position with a local accounting firm. She will begin her new job next fall.
“I feel really lucky to have this opportunity,” Dickson said. “Jerritt has been great to me throughout the process and is very understanding. Volleyball has been a stress relief.”
Dickson has adjusted to a new role with the Longhorns. At Virginia, she was a full-time player, but her playing time is more selective now.
“I always want to feel like I can contribute. I’ve tried to just stay engaged and into the game,” Dickson said. “No matter what you’re doing, find a way to contribute to success.”