It’s not hard to relate back to the days of recess, nap and craft time during elementary and middle school. When glueing sequins onto card stock, we often forget what it takes to hold together a crafty creation. The adhesive needed to make things stick can relate to the connection sports teams need to be successful.
Though craft time is many years in the past, the relevance it provides now represents the role of a single volleyball player at CSU. A typical volleyball player can bump, set and serve the ball over the net, and a few key players can kill the ball.
However, the description used for junior setter Deedra Foss is simple: glue. Able to connect sets to kill in the matter of seconds, she is the strength and core of the CSU volleyball team from each and every contact made.
“She is the glue that is keeping this whole thing working,” head coach Tom Hilbert said. “She is never over-anxious or worrying. She plays with the same even state of mind all the time, and so she makes everyone around her composed too.”
Foss is the key to the success this 2013 team has had. From the time the ball leaves her hands, an almost perfect set glides through the air until the attacker smacks its down on the opposing court.
There is no ‘I’ in team, and Foss displays this in every match. She earned the Mountain West Player of the Week once this semester and was named the No. 8 setter in the country, it comes without saying the number of kills on the season, as well as key blocking at the net, would not have been possible without the experienced fingertips of Foss.
Though it is easy to see Foss is a well-rounded volleyball player in her third year playing at CSU, her path to success came when she first picked up a volleyball at the age of 10.
“My karate coach actually convinced my mom that me and my sister should play volleyball,” Foss said. “I just fell in love with the sport. I love playing it, going to practices, tournaments and everything about it was awesome. I think I probably realized at 12 years old that I wanted to play in college.”
With dreams set high at a young age, Foss was surrounded by people who told her she was good, along with those who doubted her ability and said she would not make it in college. Not taking into consideration the negative talk, Foss stayed positive and continued to work hard one practice at a time.
“The conversation between (Deedra) and I about pursuing volleyball was very in-depth,” said Lisa Foss, Deedra’s mother. “She knew that committing to a lifestyle like this would be all about high school and club volleyball, school work and not a lot of friends.”
With the words of encouragement behind Foss, she ran with it. On any weekend, Foss and mother practiced for 12 hours setting balls into buckets and going to the basketball courts where she would set the balls off the bounce into the hoops.
“I knew pretty much from the beginning that she did play like over people,” Foss said. “She started in the upper level and has truly taken that to be one of the best. I used to tell her ‘You have to think you are the best in order to play the best;’ that was my philosophy.”
With support behind her, Foss has taken the coaching from her mother, her club coach and Hilbert to a point where improvement comes from every set in every practice.
“She has the potential to go pro,” Lisa Foss said. “Tom (Hilbert) and CSU have been the best influence on her that has gotten to this point and the reason she is such a key role at CSU.”
Volleyball beat reporter Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org