Missouri blocker deflects credit

Friday, November 25, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:02 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lisa Boyd is a star on Missouri’s nationally-ranked volleyball team, but you didn’t hear that from her.

Missouri volleyball player Lisa Boyd claims to be part of the coolest senior class in Missouri volleyball history.

Boyd is only joking, of course. It just isn’t in her character to shop for that much credit.

What Boyd would do is tell you all about the accomplishments of fellow seniors Shen Danru and Lindsey Hunter before she talked about her own.

“She has always been first focused on everybody else, and then Lisa,” coach Wayne Kreklow said. “It is really nice to have people like that in your program.”

Kreklow said that Boyd is the type of person who waits for others to be seated before she sits down, and normally allows others to enter a building before she does. When recruits or freshman need help, Boyd is normally the first to offer assistance.

“If we need some volunteers for a certain thing, Lisa is one of those who instead of taking a step back and trying to hide, Lisa will step up,” Kreklow said. “She is always one of those kind of players.”

“When (the coaches) need us to do radio spots and stuff like that she is always the first to be like ‘I’ll go do it,’” Hunter said. “If freshmen don’t have cars and need rides, she is the first to say ‘I’ll take you.’”

Boyd said that because she has become more confident in the past two years, she is now more assertive and willing to help others.

“If I see something that I know I can make a difference in, I try to go make a difference, and help somebody so that they don’t have to do it on their own or help them to get through it better,” Boyd said. “I know if I do it enough times, people will start doing it for me.”

Although her actions off the court are recognized, Kreklow said that many of the things Boyd does on the court might go unnoticed by fans and do not always show up on the stat sheet.

“She is not the one that gets the big kill,” Kreklow said. “Often it’s either, Jess (Vander Kooi), Shen (Danru), or Na (Yang) that finish the play, but they get their opportunities in large part because Lisa Boyd is so active and causes so many problems at the net for the other team.”

Boyd, a middle blocker, is one of the most efficient hitters to play at Missouri. Last year she led the Big 12 Conference with a .384 hitting percentage, which was also an MU single-season record. She is third all-time with a career hitting percentage of .315.

“I think she is such an efficient hitter because her feet are always there, she always gets up quick, and makes herself available,” Hunter, MU’s setter, said. “That is something that is very important for middles and it’s hard to do.”

Kreklow said he thinks that Boyd is playing the best volleyball of her career and credits Boyd’s redshirt year for some of her success.

Boyd is glad she redshirted and said she wasn’t prepared to play immediately coming out of Farmington High School.

“If I would have not redshirted, I would have been kicking myself because I know how much potential our team has this year,” Boyd said. “... I really would have regretted it if I hadn’t (redshirted).”

Boyd is not sure what she is doing after she graduates in May, but said she would like to work at a bank or mortgage company. She is getting married in July, and plans to live wherever her fiancé finds a job.

Whatever Boyd does, Kreklow said he thinks she will be successful and he said he has enjoyed her time in the program.

“If you are going to have somebody that is going to be with you for five years, you would like it to be someone like Lisa Boyd,” Kreklow said.

Only time will tell how this year’s seniors will stack up in terms of coolness to other classes, but what can’t be argued is their legacy. Danru holds career records in digs, aces, kills, attacks, and points, Hunter is the all-time assists leader, and Boyd is in the top-10 in hitting percentage and blocking.

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