8-31-18 Volleyball vs. Duke

LSU freshman middle blocker Whitney Foreman (4) jumps to spike the ball during the Lady Tigers' 1-3 loss in the PMAC against Duke on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018.

As the year progresses for the Tigers, one word stays consistent: tenacity.

LSU, (5-11, 0-5 Southeastern Conference) has had a slow start to the year, resulting from a multitude of factors. Coach Fran Flory attributes the lack of wins to confidence, and coach Sarah Rumely said that the team needs to come out with a tenacity each and every game.

Rumely mentioned that everything starts with the middle blockers. They can open up alleys for digs and finish misplaced balls by the opponents. Freshman middle blocker Whitney Foreman is already finding ways to contribute and make her coaches’ words a reality.

“I just like going out there and playing,” Foreman said. “Playing had helped me not think about being younger and simply focus on the game.”

The freshman Texas-native has found her way into LSU’s lineup, despite the pressures that may come with it. Foreman’s work ethic and unselfishness keep her on the court game after game, helping the Tigers get a win.

“I’ll do whatever I can for the team to succeed,” Foreman said. “As long as the team is successful, I am happy.”

Being a middle blocker on a team that relies heavily on the position even further motivates Foreman to keep her energy and confidence high.

“Our job is to create lanes for hitters and diggers to make plays,” Foreman said. “Middles are doing a great job this season because we are extremely competitive and encouraging.”

While the middle is doing well, there is a mental aspect that can improve all over the court.

The coaches keep preaching that tenacity and confidence will win the day, and Foreman goes out and plays with those teaching in mind.

As the hope of these teaching yield positive results, Foreman is not worried about the pressure or the results. She is often the youngest player in the court, and looks to her teammates to make her transition smooth.

“Raigen Cianciulli, despite only being a sophomore, has helped me the most,” Foreman said. “In addition to her being one of my great friends, she has been through everything before and helps me on and off the court.”

Cianciulli and other older players help all freshmen feel like they can make a difference, and Foreman has made a difference by starting in the last home game and contributing two block assists.

As the Tigers continue into SEC play, the team will look not to stats for inspiration but a stronger mentality to turn tough losses into gritty wins.

“We just need to have the mindset that no matter what the score is that we are going to win,” Foreman said. “We need to take it personal when the other team scores on us. When we step on the court, it is me versus you, and I want to beat you.”

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