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ND Volleyball: Freshman libero Morey infuses new blood into squad

Joe Wirth | Wednesday, September 12, 2012

 Playing against older girls is nothing new for freshman libero Taylor Morey. She grew up competing against her two older sisters, so it is easy to see why she is not intimidated in her first year of collegiate competition.

Volleyball is in the Morey family blood. Her dad and older sisters’ love of the sport influenced her at an early age, and the family competition has been fierce ever since.

“My family is a volleyball family,” Morey said. “I have two older sisters, and my oldest sister played when she was younger in middle school and high school, so I kind of got involved from her.

“My dad played in a men’s adult league and my other sister is now playing at the University of Dayton, so we’re definitely a volleyball family. It was a big family, and always very competitive.”

Morey was a highly-touted recruit coming out of Burris Laboratory High School in Muncie, Ind. She was Indiana’s 2010 Gatorade Player of the Year and also a 2011 first-team Under Armour All-American.

“I was getting recruited by Ohio State, Purdue, University of Dayton … but I chose Notre Dame because it offers a lot,” Morey said. “My visit was awesome, and the history and tradition behind the whole school is amazing. The connections you make every day on campus are incredible. It offers so much, not just athletically, but also academically, and that’s a huge part for why I came.”

Morey credited the coaching staff and upperclassmen in easing the transition to college.

“I think in any situation, freshman come in scared and nervous, and they just don’t know what to expect, and so it’s huge having [senior opposite side hitter] Marie [Roof] and other people who have experience help you along the way,” she said.
“It makes it easier and calms your nerves so that you can come in and compete at your highest level from the beginning.”

While it is still early in her freshman year, Morey has played against strong competition and has been forced to adjust her game accordingly.

“So far we have played a lot of great teams. The girls are a lot bigger, the game is a lot faster and they hit heavier balls, but I think my adjustment has been fairly smooth,” Morey said. “The girls in college are a lot bigger and more physical and they have been playing a lot longer. We’ve already played some of the top outside hitters that I will probably face in my career. I just had to make my movements a lot faster and just learn how to be more physical as a defender.”

The Irish just finished up a 1-2 road trip in California and although the team was disappointed with the outcome, Morey said the team still has big goals for the rest of the season.

“We lost a heartbreaker on Saturday. I think we have high expectations and are expecting to compete in the Big East championships and take our talents to the NCAA [tournament] and see how far we can make it,” Morey said. “Although our record is 5-4, we definitely are continuing to train, continuing to work hard, and keeping our goals as high as they have been.”
Morey and the rest of the Irish will be in action Friday night at 7 p.m. against Xavier at home in the Purcell Pavilion as a part of the Golden Dome Invitational.

Contact Joe Wirth at jwirth@nd.edu