12 Topics in 12 Days: Re-capping Leggett's Freshman Season
Aug. 26, 2008
NORMAL, Ill. - Sophomore outside hitter Mallory Leggett always knew she wanted to be a Redbird, seeing both of her older sisters, along with her mother, attend Illinois State. What Leggett didn't know was the immediate impact she would make on the volleyball program as soon as she stepped on campus.
Leggett, a Maroa, Ill., native, immediately stepped into a starting role on the outside for the Redbirds last season, and became an invaluable six-rotation player. In her freshman season, she totaled 357 kills (3.10 kpg), 406 digs (3.53 dpg), 50 blocks and 419 points. Leggett tallied 18 double-digit kill efforts, including eight of the last 10 matches of the season, and registered double-digit dig outings 21 times. She ended the season with 13 double-doubles (kills-digs).
Leggett particularly shined in Missouri Valley Conference play, as one of only three freshmen in the Valley to rank in the top-12 in kills per game (3.19). She was a three-time Valley Newcomer of the Week, and earned a spot on the MVC All-Freshman Team at the end of the regular-season.
But anyone who witnessed the Redbirds' run to the championship match of the 2007 State Farm MVC Tournament would tell you that Leggett's most glaring impact came in the postseason. With right side hitter M.C. Richmond playing with a stress fracture in her left foot, Leggett emerged as one of the Redbirds' top offensive options. She averaged 4.0 kills per game in the Valley Tournament, and earned a spot on the all-tournament team along with setter Erin Lindsey.
"When I look back on our great run in last year's MVC Tournament, the number one thing that comes to mind is how Mallory was able to get kill, after kill, after kill," said Lindsey. "For a freshman to be able to step into a pressure-filled situation and perform like a senior was pretty impressive. We couldn't have made that run without Mallory."
The good thing for Redbird fans and the ISU volleyball program is that Leggett will have two more seasons before she becomes a senior and wraps up her career. Until then, fans can expect to see the maturation process grow even further, and hear her name called plenty of times at Redbird Arena.
Wednesday's 12 Topics in 12 Days installment will examine M.C. Richmond's chance at being part of history in the ISU volleyball record books.