Cowgirls plan to use Aztec star at middle hitter
AZTEC — Taley Ferrari has helped out at many positions for the Aztec volleyball team, but she wasn't quite as involved as a middle hitter.
Ferrari took on outside hitter, setter and defensive specialist duties most of the time last fall, but she has the 6-foot-1 frame to be more of a force up front.
And she will primarily contribute as a middle hitter at the next level after signing with New Mexico Highlands University's volleyball program today via full-ride scholarship.
Ferrari said Highlands, an NCAA Division II program in Las Vegas, New Mexico, is loading up on taller players to help score more points at the net.
"In (NCAA Division II), you can't do anything if you don't have height. And they saw me as a strong blocker, so that'll definitely help them out," Ferrari said. "They're trying to build a stronger and (taller) front row."
Ferrari led Aztec this past season with 296 assists and 32 service aces, was tied for a team-high in kills with 154, and was second in digs (214) and blocks (93) on defense.
Ferrari said she plans to build more upper-body strength so she can generate quick points attacking and defending at the net on a regular basis.
Ferrari said her getting stronger will also help because of all the vertical movements involved in direct attacks and counterattacks.
"I'm definitely going to have to build my strength to be able to be that first attack (option) for them," Ferrari said.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.