Scarlet Gable wasn’t supposed to start on last year’s Belmont volleyball team.
Once a teammate was hurt, however, the then-freshman stepped in, played a major role on the team and earned all-conference honors by the end of the season.
Before she stepped in, Gable admits she was terrified of the prospect of playing heavily on the volleyball team.
“I felt as if I had a target on my back and that people would see me as a failure,” she said. But after getting into the swing of things, I realized that I was playing for a team and that doing the best for them was more important than what others thought of me.”
Her individual performance was certainly enough to impress her teammates and even her competitors. Last year, she had the most digs and third-most blocks of any conference freshman. By the end of the season, she was named to the Atlantic Sun all-conference team as the Bruins won 21 games and shared a regular season conference title.
Despite Gable’s lack of NCAA experience, volleyball was nothing new to her. She started playing at when she was 10 year old while her family was living in Hawaii. She was homeschooled during middle school, which eventually developed her passion for the game.
“When I was being homeschooled there wasn’t much else for me to do outside of class, so I would always look forward to playing volleyball at the end of each day,” she said.
That passion also came with Gable to West Tennessee after her family moved there. Scarlet said one of the first things she did after moving was ask where she could go to play volleyball.
Once she graduated high school, Gable’s decision of what to do next wasn’t nearly as clear. At college, she knew she wanted to study nursing, but wasn’t sure where to go to do so. Eventually, she chose Belmont for its program. She said she also fell in love with the school and its volleyball team despite not knowing the team’s record or any of the players.
This season, the players and the coaches aren’t certain what to expect as they were last year. The Bruins moved to the Ohio Valley Conference from the Atlantic Sun. Both Scarlet and head coach Deane Webb agree that they’re not sure what’s to come for this new conference, but they said a higher level of play is expected from the team who was tabbed to finish second in the conference. Webb said he is still confident of this team’s chances and that Gable will transform as a player this season and in the future.
“I want each of them to be a new player every year so that when they’re a senior player they’re completely different from who they were as a freshman player,” he said.
Gable plans to continue to play on Belmont’s team throughout college and in eventually pursue a career in nursing. After graduation though, she doesn’t want to leave the sport for good. If possible, she wants to coach volleyball along with her eventual nursing career.