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Baska a rising star for Lady Red Wolves volleyball team

By Casey Rinaldi
On September 8, 2011

Megan Baska, sophomore libero for the Arkansas State University volleyball team, was recently recognized as the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week after earning a record 40 digs at the Samford/UAB Invitational.

ASU volleyball Head Coach Justin Ingram gave his thoughts on what this accomplishment means to both Baska and the team itself.

"She was Defensive Player of the Year last year, so entering this season, expectations were certainly high for her to achieve great things and continually get better," Ingram said. "She should get Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week more than once this season."

In 2010, as a true freshman, Baska recorded 564 digs to rank seventh on the ASU single-season digs chart.

She also led the league with a 5.08 digs per set average, which ranked her 37th nationally.

Ingram also explained the importance of Baska's role as a libero and how it corresponds to the rest of the team.

"It's a ball-handling position, meaning you need to be able to control the ball at a high level. Both serving and receiving is a prime responsibility for the libero," Ingram explained.

"They remain in the game for most of the match participating on the back row and they wear a different colored jersey to signify to the referees where they are. It opens the door for more athletes to be playing this sport at this level," Ingram said.

In regards to Baska's future with A-State volleyball, Ingram believes Baska has not reached her full potential yet.

"I think her position on the team will evolve into more of a leadership role as the years continue," Ingram said. "But as of right now, she's still learning, and trying to find out how to accomplish things."

"She's doing a tremendous job for us and there's no doubt she will continue to in the future."

The work toward where Baska is now began years before she arrived at ASU.

"My passion for volleyball started when I was 10 years old," Baska said. "It started in the family, I tried it out and I fell in love from there."

After serving as the libero at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, where she established a career record of 120 ace serves in 2009, Baska was recruited by the Red Wolves prior to the 2010 season.

Regarding her future or current goals, Baska merely wants to work hard and do her job on the court.

"We're just hoping to win that Sun Belt Conference championship and maybe repeat the Western Division title and have it all to ourselves," Baska said.

After she graduates from A-State, Baska hopes to pursue a career as a personal trainer specializing in strength and conditioning.

When it comes to a potential career as a professional player, Baska has not ruled it out.

"If that path is open to me, I would definitely pursue it," Baska said. "But I'm just taking it one day at a time. I just want to practice, better myself and better our team."

"No matter what, if you have a dream, just go for it and you won't regret at least trying. Push yourself to see how far you can go," Baska urged those interested in taking up volleyball.

"One of my favorite quotes [from Marianne Williamson's "A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles] is, ‘Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It's not what's holding us back, but what we actually can do, that is going to amaze us."

Following a loss in four sets to the Saint Louis Billikens on Monday, the Lady Red Wolves are now 4-3 on the season with their next series of games being played in the Missouri State Invitational this weekend against South Dakota State, Hofstra and the host school, Missouri State.

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