Stepping Up, Standing Out

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Kristen Brashear

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Kristen Brashear
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Sept. 20, 2013

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. -- She wears a different colored jersey. But that's not the only reason Kristen Brashear has stood out this season.

The freshman from Louisville, Ky., has started all 10 matches at libero, a specialized, back row defensive position that wears a contrasting jersey from her teammates.

"It's given me a great opportunity to get comfortable with the rest of the team," Brashear said. "It's helped me to be able to be on my game and learn the positions better and get a lot more reps. It's helped my confidence, and I have enjoyed it a lot."

Brashear also leads the team and ranks 10th in the Southeastern Conference in digs, averaging 3.89 digs per set. At the GW Invitational, where she earned All-Tournament team honors, she set a single-match record for an Ole Miss freshman with 28 digs against George Washington.

"I think anytime a freshman is playing, it speaks to the skill level that they come in with, and she came in very skilled and has been playing with a lot of confidence," head coach Joe Getzin said. "She has a done a great job for us filling that great void at libero.

"She has also surprised us with her passing, and it has continued to improve, and that's the area she still has to work on. Defensively, she's made some phenomenal plays, and we will continue to see that."

One of five freshmen on this year's team, Brashear enrolled in summer classes, which has paid off for her on and off the court.

"I came in this summer by myself, and to be honest, it was quiet and lonely in the dorms, but Ty Laporte really helped me and reached out to me," Brashear said. "She made me feel comfortable with the older teammates and made me feel welcome, and it really helped me get through the summer as the only freshman.

"It also really paid off because I got two credits under my belt, and I got to bond with the team before the other freshmen. I got the workout routine down, and I got a feel for how practices were going to be."

Brashear stepped in for a fellow defensive specialist, junior Cara Fisher, who missed the first two weeks of the season with a broken collarbone before returning last weekend at the TCU Nike/Molten Invitational.

"I knew there was going to be more of an opportunity for me to start as a freshman because she would be out, and the team would need more of a leadership presence on the floor," Brashear said. "Now that Cara's back it's awesome to have her on the court and it makes our defense that much better."

"Both of them are going to be on the floor," said Getzin of Brashear and Fisher. "One will play a couple more rotation as the libero. Kristen has done a great job of competing with Cara. Right now they're in a good battle."

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller.

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 19

      Sunday, October 19, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more

    • Winning Formula for Rebels is No Secret

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Tennessee Motivational

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Tennessee Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Tennessee

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more

    • SEC Nation Talent Talks Ole Miss on Visit

      Friday, October 17, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from today's media opportunity with SEC Nation host Joe Tessitore and analysts Tim Tebow and Marcus Spears discussing the show's visit to Oxford for the SEC matchup between No. 3 Ole Miss and Tennessee. Tessitore recalls calling the first college... read more

    • What They're Saying: Midseason Honors

      Friday, October 17, 2014 - Football

      At the halfway point of the regular season, Ole Miss is 6-0 for the first time since 1962, when it went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title. It's No. 3 ranking in the national polls is its... read more

    • Rebels Slow Offensive Tempo

      Thursday, October 16, 2014 - Football

      With a dominant defense that ranks among the nation's leaders in most statistical categories, head coach Hugh Freeze acknowledged he has changed his offensive philosophy and play-calling to limit negative plays and quick possessions. Ole Miss averaged the second-most offensive... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 7

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 7 - Texas A&M (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Freeze Talks Defense, Tennessee

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Oxford. For the full SEC teleconference, go here. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at... read more

    • VIDEO: Studio 18 Live 10.15.14

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Athletics

      read more

    • VIDEO: 'Can't Be Denied' Hype Video

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • VIDEO: Bo Wallace on The Dan Patrick Show

      Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Game-Manager Bo

      Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - Football

      Head coach Hugh Freeze admitted the offense played well enough to manage the game and let the defense win it.  Ole Miss leaned on its running game, rushing for 160 yards on 35 carries, while Bo Wallace completed 13-of-19 passes... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 6-12)

      Monday, October 13, 2014 - Rifle

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 6-12, 2014Football- The No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels showed they belong among the nation's upper crust with a dominating 35-20 win at No. 14 Texas A&M on Saturday.- Ole Miss jumped out to a... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 12

      Sunday, October 12, 2014 - Athletics

      In this week's edition of Observations from the Best Seat in the House, Metz Camfield and I teamed up to give you our thoughts and opinions of the week that was in Ole Miss athletics. I was able to travel... read more