OXFORD, Miss. –Allegra Wells was a sophomore volleyball player entering her first year on the Ole Miss track and field team. As she walked into the Indoor Practice Facility one day, she looked over and couldn’t believe her eyes – there, training with the Rebels, was Brittney Reese, the greatest female Ole Miss track and field student-athlete of all-time and a future Olympic gold medalist.
“Her focus and dedication was unbelievable,” Wells said. “You couldn’t distract her when she was working and when you watched her she had such a focus on her face. She was driven to be the best all the time.”
It’s what Wells has taken from her experience training alongside Reese that now has Ole Miss volleyball looking toward new heights in 2012. A 6-foot-1 right side hitter, Wells is considered one of the more athletic volleyball players in the Southeastern Conference.
“I think Brittney just showed her that, hey, this is her job,” Ole Miss head volleyball coach Joe Getzin said. “When you come to workouts, you’re there to work – you’re not there just to go through the motions. If you want to be good you have to work at a certain level.”
A two-sport athlete from Dallas, Wells learned quickly about time management by having to balance two sports’ practice schedules and her school work. That level she had to work at had been raised.
“In the spring of last year, I was going to practice for volleyball in the morning and track during the evening,” Wells said. “It was not fun, but it was something I had to do if I wanted to be good at both sports.”
And she is good at both sports.
During the summer prior to her junior year, Wells was invited to train with the USA A2 National Team program. It was a humbling experience, she said, to compete with so many other elite volleyball players and realize she’s not the only one training as hard as she is.
In February of 2012, Wells finished fourth in the long jump at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships, competing against some of the best collegiate track and field student-athletes in the country.
“It helped me because I know that I’m capable of a lot of things that sometimes I don’t think I can do,” Wells said. “So, I question a lot of things about myself sometimes, but in the end, if I actually put my mind to it and do it, I’m capable of doing anything. So, I think it helped me a lot with my confidence.”
“Allegra is just kind of tapping into her potential as a volleyball player,” Getzin said. “I think she has confidence in herself as a player now and we’re really seeing her start to blossom.”
Asked what she can take from her time seeing Reese train, Wells spoke of the Olympian’s dedication to her craft and her constant motivation to win.
“She goes all out every single time,” Wells said. “There’s never a single day where she’s not going 100 percent. That’s something that I think we could honestly take from her is to just be dominant. That’s our theme this year; Prepare to Dominate. Be dominant 24/7 on and off the court in everything you do.”
And that is what Wells wants to do. Now a senior, she believes it’s her time and the team’s time to shine. No longer a kid who can afford to goof off, Wells said she needs to step up and be the leader everyone wants her to be.
“You have to be coachable; you have to be willing to make mistakes and brush them off and pick other people up,” Wells said. “Knowing that it’s my senior year and I have to do that now, it’s just made me a completely different person on and off the court.”
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