Blue Raider Spotlight: Chelsea Ross, true freshman, shines despite early season woes
The MT volleyball team has struggled for the first half of the season, playing tough opponents such as LSU, Louisville, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech, en route to a 3-13 (0-1 Sun Belt) record.
Despite a slow start, there has been a bright spot to their season, freshman phenom and former Riverdale High School star, Chelsea Ross.
The Murfreesboro native leads the team in kills with 228, 27 more than any other player on the team, averaging a team best 3.80 kills per set. She has started all 16 matches this season and is first on the team with 14 serving aces, while also sitting at second on the team in digs and leading the team in points.
In high school, she was named to the All-District freshman team in 2009, along with earning All-District and All-Region honors in her sophomore campaign in 2010. She was also named District MVP in both 2011 and 2012, and was selected to the 2011 Region All-tournament team, as well as the All-Region and TACA All-State teams in 2012.
She was an AAU and USA Volleyball All-American, and accumulated an astounding 2,230 kills and 1,244 digs in her high school career.
Ross sat down with Sidelines to discuss her promising volleyball career and expectations for the remainder of the season.
SL: At least six true freshmen have started matches for your team this season. What challenges and advantages has this youth brought to the team?
CR: Our opponents don’t really know what’s coming. I think all the freshmen are really talented, and they all came from great programs.
SL: Being from Riverdale High School, what does it mean to be able to start for your hometown team as a freshman?
CR: It’s exciting. All my friends are from here, and they’re all coming [to the games], and it’s good to see them.
SL: What is your greatest motivation?
CR: My mom, she’s a coach. She always played, and I always wanted to be as good as her.
SL: What is your greatest accomplishment to this date?
CR: I got All-American at nationals and we [Riverdale] got 3rd or 4th place, and it was really exciting.
SL: Describe how your high school volleyball experience was?
CR: My freshman year we didn’t get out of districts, and each year we just got better and built on it.
SL: What led you to choose MTSU over other schools that were trying to recruit you?
CR: Just being from here. Always seeing it, I wanted to go here, but I never really thought I would be able to.
SL: What has Coach Peck helped improve most in your game?
CR: My defense. I’ve never played middle back before, so [I’m] getting to know the position. We’re [definitely] working on it.
SL: Describe your role on the team, and what is your mindset and goals when taking the court?
CR: My role on the team is that I need to [play] hard all the time, because I’m out there the whole time and to also better the ball.
SL: Who or what do you attribute your success to?
CR: My mom, she was always my coach. She’s been my coach since pretty much right before I got here, and she’s made me the player I am.
SL: What are your expectations for the remainder of this season?
CR: I expect us to win conference. I know we’ve had a rough start, but I think we can do it.
SL: Have any of the upperclassmen in particular helped you grow so far this season?
CR: Halie Vannoy (Defensive Specialist/Libero). She was the one on the court that showed us how, if we wanted to be a leader, the way we should act, and that’s who we should look up to.
SL: What made you choose volleyball?
CR: My mom. Growing up, before I could play, I was in her practices shagging because she had coached. [It] wasn’t really an option, I was going to play volleyball.
– Photo Credit: Sarah Addleman