Team finds offensive firepower in freshman outside hitter
Entering this season, the presumed top priority for the Cougar volleyball team was replacing the production the team lost after last year.
Little did they know, a big source of production would be found in freshman outside hitter Brookah Palmer.
Head coach Kaddie Platt chose to place Palmer at the outside hitter position from the beginning of the season. Palmer has responded exactly how the coaching staff and her teammates hoped she would.
“She’s come in and made a really big impact,” senior libero Olivia O’Dell said.
“We lost Kadi [Kullerkann], who was our huge hitter last year, so we really needed someone to step into that role. She’s really stepped up and taken it on.”
Palmer leads the team in kills and has already notched an American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week award this season.
There are a few essential elements athletes need to excel in their given sport, like athleticism or talent, but what sets Palmer apart is her drive to become the best player she can.
“I don’t really have many other interests,” Palmer said. “I just focus on volleyball and school.”
Her teammates credit her calm demeanor for her successful transition from high school to the NCAA so quickly.
“Rarely does she get down on herself, especially in a game,” said O’Dell. “She’s always on point and if she messes up, she’s right back in it and ready to get the next kill.”
Coach Platt credits Palmer’s hunger to become a better player and overall knowledge of the game for her early success.
“It’s a blend of her work ethic, her IQ and her talent that balances it all,” Platt said. “She is a hard-worker. Yeah she has talent, but in sprints, she’s the first one done. Every day, she goes hard.”
A major contribution to Palmer’s early success is the team’s chemistry, which Platt praised as the best she has had in her four years at Houston.
“When you’re blending underclassmen with upperclassmen, a lot of that falls on the upperclassmen to grab them and bring them to be a part of it,” Platt said.
“The team has generally had really good attitudes, they want to improve, be good teammates and help each other along. The upperclassmen have been gems this year.”
If the early season is any indication, Palmer is going to be a strong talent that helps the Cougars for years to come.
“We keep saying it over and over, we want to go 100 percent and we want to get 1 percent better every day,” Platt said. “Another thing we’re sticking to is never stop improving. Never settle for where you are.”