Lowers earns NCAA honor

Published 9:15 pm Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Randolph Macon freshman right outside hitter Courtney Lowers, left, earned a spot on the 2012 NCAA Volleyball Christopher Newport Regional All-Tournament team in November. She was formerly a standout at Nansemond River High School. | Submitted Photo

Randolph-Macon College freshman volleyball player Courtney Lowers, a former Nansemond River High School standout, was recently named to the 2012 NCAA Volleyball Christopher Newport Regional All-Tournament team.

During the regional-level NCAA tournament, Lowers had 24 kills, seven block assists and two digs to earn the all-tournament team selection.

“I was actually shocked, because I’m only a freshman,” she said. “It’s a true honor to be represented (like) this, but I could not have done it without my teammates if they weren’t there pushing me along the entire time.”

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She recorded seven kills in the first game at the tourney. The second game was a five-set loss against eventual regional champion Christopher Newport University, but in 32 kill attempts, she produced 17 kills and also had six blocks.

“That game was literally the most intense game we’ve probably every played,” she said. “Everything was clicking, everything was going like it should. It was a lot of fun.”

“We weren’t playing for ourselves, we were playing for each other, and I think that’s why we worked so well during that game,” she added.

Lowers was a breath of fresh air for Randolph-Macon head coach Bill Rogers.

“I think she was peaking at the end of the year and played up to her potential, which was really nice to see,” he said. “Most freshmen don’t have that kind of impact. She was playing a new position from what she had played in club and in high school, and I think she owned it pretty well and showed her stuff, particularly against Christopher Newport.”

In high school, Lowers was a four-year letterman, and she made the All-Southeastern District first team as a junior and a senior.

Since Randolph-Macon is a Division III school, it does not offer athletic scholarships, but she received academic scholarships from the school.

At Randolph-Macon, she has continued her elite ways, ranking second on the team in kills with 191 and first in solo blocks, with 25 on the season.

“I was very shocked by these statistics, because I have never played right side before,” Lowers said. “I have always played outside (left) or middle.”

“I started learning, and of course it was frustrating at first, because I couldn’t quite get everything down, but as time went on, I kept working at it,” she said. “I would go into the gym before practice or after practice and work more with my setter to try and perfect things. So, the hard work paid off in the end.”

“Considering that she’s a freshman in college and she’s playing a new position, I think by mid-season she really was playing extremely well and was a go-to player,” Rogers said.

Assistant volleyball coach Jessica Gregory praised Lowers’ work ethic.

“She came in as a freshman and was just pretty much ready to do work when she walked through the doors back in August,” she said. “And she’s really stepped up throughout the season.”

Lowers helped her team go 11-0 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and later earn the at-large bid it received to be a part of the NCAA regional tournament.

There is a certain variable at the college level that every freshman must deal with.

“The speed is faster, so you can’t predict how freshmen are going to adapt to the speed, and she adapted really well,” Rogers said.

Lowers felt great to have her career high of 17 kills when her team needed it the most, but her plans do no include resting on her laurels.

“Hopefully next year I can make that better and have 18, 19, and so on,” she said.

Rogers hopes so, too.

“We have great expectations for next year,” he said.