The hitting and passer positions are better defined for the average fan.
As for the libero, even the name sounds weird. Wikipedia says it’s an Italian word meaning “free”. Google defines the Libero as a defensive back-line specialist, often reserved for smaller players with exceptional ball control skills.
Mayssa Tweet, a senior on the Adrian / Ellsworth Dragons High School volleyball team, is a libero. She’s also one of Southwest Minnesota’s most outstanding liberos, and has been for at least a few years now, as she has helped her team achieve impressive success in the sport.
So if you ask her to describe what she does in the field, you probably couldn’t get it from a better source.
“Being a libero is harder work than a lot of people think,” Tweet explained. “It’s a very mental position where you have to get out of it if you make a mistake. You have to have a short memory. It’s throwing away and sacrificing your body no matter what. You have a lot of bruises and burns to the floor, but it’s worth it because you can’t get a set or a hit without a pass.
Tweet’s athleticism and aggressiveness pay high dividends. She’s often the first player to get a bump on an opponent’s serve. She saves points by diving and tumbling all over the place. It is sometimes necessary to make a good set. Other times she needs to get the ball over the net from a deep position. Yes, it is hard work.
This week, Mayssa joins her older sister Kasie as a featured athlete in The Drill. Kasie was introduced two years ago and now Mayssa is receiving the same treatment.
It’s appropriate, of course. Both are excellent volleyball players, and over the years they have formed a kind of mutual admiration society. Naturally, Mayssa admires Kasie. In her interview with Drill two years ago, Kasie said she admired Mayssa.
You can watch a video of Mayssa’s Drill function online at www.dglobe.com. Here is an example of the interview:
QUESTION: How good could this Adrian / Ellsworth volleyball team be this year?
ANSWER: “We have a few girls who have been playing club volleyball all year this year, so the work will definitely benefit us. We’re going to try to be a very disjointed team this year. We have a couple coming back who are very good offensive hitters for us. “
QUESTION: You and your sister Kasie are close. Can you explain
ANSWER: “My sister Kasie, I played with her for three or four years in college, and now she’s gone to play Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter. I really think that growing up and playing with her, I always admired her. She always pushed me to be a better player on the pitch, but even more so off the pitch. We have always been so close.
QUESTION: Do you have a particular sports memory to review, something you will never forget?
ANSWER: “Something about my high school career that I will never forget is my sophomore year in the subsection championship game against Tracy. We lost the first two sets and came back, won the third, won the fourth, and it was in the fifth set and things were getting volatile. We were getting nervous because if we didn’t win, the season was over. And we wanted to come back to the section final to face Minneota again. That was, I think, the point of the game, and I was so nervous I could just feel myself shaking. And I kind of hit the serve receiving ball, and Brianna Reckamp sacrificed her body, threw it in the air, and someone handed it over, and we ended up winning the point. And I could just remember such a relief that we won and that she saved my ass. I will never forget this moment.