The emergence of freshman Alexis Huntey as a standout setter for the women’s volleyball team was born of what appeared, at first, to be a major setback.
GW has endured a large number of injuries to its roster this season, but the latest, a concussion to redshirt freshman setter Jessica Lubic, removed the member of the team with arguably the most powerful position, the player that controls the entire offensive attack.
It forced Huntey to start at setter for the first time in her young college career last weekend, where she lead the Colonials to back-to-back wins.
“She had an outstanding weekend in both matches,” head coach Amanda Ault said. “She’s a great player to coach because she does everything you ask her to do and more.”
Friday, in her collegiate debut, Huntey posted 28 assists, nine digs and three kills, one ace and a block as the team swept La Salle in straight sets at the Smith Center.
She returned to the court for GW’s five-set win over Temple Sunday, registering 51 assists and 17 digs for her first ever double-double, also adding six kills, seven blocks and two aces. Despite her own lofty achievements, however, the soft-spoken freshman did not hesitate to credit her teammates with providing key support throughout play.
“My teammates helped me out like crazy,” Huntey said. “They definitely showed their confidence in me, which helped. They passed great and they hit well. It makes it a lot easier to play well when your team is playing well around you.”
Huntey, one of four siblings, grew up in Stanwood, Mich. She started playing volleyball in fifth grade, but focused more on basketball throughout high school, leading her team to three consecutive district and league titles, in addition to a regional championship.
Her path to GW took many turns. Huntey first verbally committed to Central Michigan, before subsequent conversations with Ault convinced her to become a Colonial. Another influence on her decision came from an unlikely source: fellow GW freshman and high school rival Maddy Doyle, who beat Huntey out for a Michigan Miss Volleyball award.
“I think that the decision to come here definitely helped that we both knew we were coming here,” Huntey said.
Ault credits Huntey’s work ethic and intelligence for her seamless transition to setter, even after she’d missed time earlier in the season due to her own injury.
The rotation has been a key component of GW’s season, Ault said, and it’s forced her squad to develop the ability to shift seamlessly between roles and maneuver on and off the bench. Huntey’s success at that, Ault added, points to her skill as a player.
“To step into a collegiate game and do the things that she did, and do it well and have that success, it speaks a lot about her,” Ault said.