It hasn’t taken long for Marshall freshman Caitlyn Ellenburg to make an impact on the volleyball court.
“It’s a lot faster paced,” Ellenburg said of the high school level. “Just the atmosphere is completely different, I would say.”
Despite that, she already has 576 assists on the year, 124 of which have come in the last six games.
“She’s very huge for our team,” Marshall head volleyball coach Kayla Green said. “The volleyball IQ that she has at that young of an age, is a huge impact on the floor.”
“Right now it would probably being the best leader that I can be,” Ellenburg said when asked what her greatest strength on the court is. “As a freshman, obviously it’s kind of hard but I think I’m doing a pretty good job at it.”
“In the beginning, I think there was a lot of frustration because she wanted to step into that (leadership) role but I don’t think she felt as comfortable, joining a new team, but she’s done a really good job this first round of district of keeping the court calm even when things aren’t going the way we need them to,” Green said.
“Coach Green tells me to just be comfortable with myself,” Ellenburg added. “As a freshman, I was kind of down on myself at the beginning but now I’ve learned that I deserve to be here.”
Ellenburg said her senior teammates have set a good example of what it means to be a leader.
“Oh they’re great leaders,” she offered. “I’ll be down sometimes during a game and they always make sure to come up to me individually and say, ‘Hey you did great. You’ve got it. Keep it up.’ They’ve been really great.’”
She also gets to play on the same team as her sister Emily, a junior.
“It’s pretty awesome,” the freshman said. “I thought at first that it would be kind of hard because we are sisters and I thought we were going to argue but I think we’re doing pretty well. It’s fun being able to play with her.”
“I think it’s awesome that she and her sister have a great bond on the floor,” Green said. “They connect really well. We were talking yesterday about how even if there’s a mistake done by either one of them, they can look at each other and not get frustrated with each other like you would expect. Their chemistry is really good.”
The Lady Mavs currently hold an overall record of 16-14 and a district record of 3-3. Ellenburg has high expectations for the remainder of her freshman year.
“I think we should be able to make it to the playoffs,” she said. “That’s a big goal I have for this team is to make it to the playoffs.”
Marshall is slated to return to action today at 4:30 p.m. when it plays host to John Tyler.