COLUMBIA — Forty minutes before the match begins, she is the picture of focus and concentration.
Match notes and blue pen in hand, nothing can faze her. Not House of Pain’s “Jump Around” thumping from Hearnes Center’s overhead speakers or the ear-piercing guitar solo in Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle.” Not even the Point Mizzou band’s chaotic warm-up can disturb her.
Missouri blanked Colorado in three straight sets (25-20, 25-22, 25-19) Saturday night at Hearnes Center.
Freshman setter Molly Kreklow finished the match with 44 assists, and senior Paola Ampudia completed 20 kills.
Missouri struggled to gain a large lead against Colorado throughout the match, with 23 score ties and 8 lead changes.
The Tigers are now 11-5 on the season and 3-3 in Big 12 play.
Missouri Women’s Athlete of the Decade Lindsey Hunter has taken on the role of color commentator for the radio broadcast of Missouri volleyball games for Mizzou All-Access. The broadcasts are accessed from the Missouri volleyball schedule on mutigers.com.
It was a night of adjustments as Hunter worked with a new broadcast partner and had to relocate from the top of section A16 down to the media table that runs alongside the court two rows up. But she handled the changes with grace, figuring out how to set up the broadcast equipment and going over statistics with her new partner for the night, JJ Stankevitz, before the game began.
Right before the match started, Hunter removed her black dangly teardrop-shaped earrings before putting on her headset for a sound check. Then the whistle blew, and she was in her element.
"My first game was against Texas Tech, that was my first go at it, and I was actually really nervous," Hunter said. "But Ross Taylor did such a good job. I can’t even tell you how good he is at doing the play-by-play, so it just makes it so easy for me to jump in when the ball’s dead.”
Hunter’s usual broadcast partner, Ross Taylor, describes her as professional, industrious and hard working. But they have time for fun off-air, too. Taylor and Hunter will jump on the court to play a few quick pick-up games before Missouri takes the court for away games.
Hunter flies with the team to broadcast away games and eats pre-game meals with players and coaches. For Missouri’s game at Texas Tech, Hunter said the team ate at the same restaurant as when she was a player for Missouri.
Last year, Susan Kreklow, MU’s director of volleyball, invited Hunter to travel with the team to Nebraska. Hunter did a pregame radio interview and absolutely loved it. So when Kreklow asked Hunter if she was interested in doing color commentary for the whole season , Hunter was excited to give it a try.
Although she’s never done radio broadcasts before, Hunter, an All-American setter for Missouri in 2005, enjoys giving back to Missouri volleyball.
“I feel like I do have the knowledge to share, and it’s nice to be able to share that to people that aren’t able to actually be at the games,” Hunter said.
During the broadcasts, Taylor gives an exact play-by-play, and Hunter follows up with her own perspective of the play that just took place. With all of her experience with volleyball, Taylor said that Hunter brings incredible credibility to their broadcast.
For now, Hunter is content with her position as a graduate assistant with Missouri athletics, and she said she would like to get a full-time position in the future.
She would like to continue her radio commentary of Missouri volleyball games as a part-time job, like she is doing now.
“Volleyball has always been one of my passions, and so I just can’t seem to find a way to not do anything associated with volleyball,” Hunter said. “It’s just always been a part of my life, and I’m glad it still is.”