Libero digs way to record

Her alternate jersey may cause Jamie Lundstrom to stick out on the volleyball court. But when you add in her petite frame, the libero can’t be missed.

Standing at 5-foot-5-inch , the senior has become a deceptive tool for Belmont’s defense the past four seasons, becoming the all-time career leader in digs at Belmont.

“She has used her size to her advantage. She is able to run to and defend balls that maybe some other players wouldn’t be able to,” said Belmont coach Deane Webb. “Her ability to see the game and react to it have been huge for her.”

On Sept. 6 against Boise State in the Wildcat Classic, Lundstrom reached the defensive milestone, surpassing the previous record of 1,387 digs set by Megan Clements in 2010.

“It was incredible. I got to make that goal in front of all my family and friends in Chicago,” Lundstrom said. “That was really exciting. I worked really hard for it.”

Webb believes that topping this record speaks well of her work ethic the past few seasons.

“It’s a great honor and accomplishment. There have been a number of great defenders that have come before her. For her to do that over a long period of career just shows the level player that she’s been consistently is a great accomplishment for her,”Webb said.

While she came in late during her freshman year, Lundstrom dominated on the court in her sophomore season. She was named the 2011 Atlantic Sun Defensive Player of the Year after she led the conference with 522 digs and also recorded a Belmont single-season record 421 hitting percentage.

The libero continued her success on the court last year during Belmont’s first season in the Ohio Valley Conference. Lundstrom set the single-season school record for digs with 652 digs and was named to the OVC All-Tournament Team after a career high 36 digs in a tournament game against SEMO.

“Her quickness is just absolutely huge at that position and the ability to extend rallies to make the opponent hit the ball,” Webb said. “She can defend and make them swing one more time. Her speed helps tremendously in her abilities to defend.”

In her senior campaign, Lundstrom has recorded 321 digs in 20 matches played so far, accounting for almost 30 percent of the team’s total digs.

“I’ve always relied on my speed. I feel like that is where I am my best. In circumstances where I need to get to the ball quicker is definitely my strength,” she said.

Prior to coming to Nashville, Lundstrom grew up in La Grange, Illinois, where she began playing the game of volleyball at age nine with help from her mother.

“My mom signed me up for a little kid’s volleyball camp. From then on, I fell in love with the sport,” Lundstrom said. “She signed me up for club volleyball ball and from then on I’ve been playing.”

While the position was still fairly new in the sport, Lundstrom began playing libero at the 12-years-old, a position that continues to remain exciting for the senior.

“It’s just an exciting position because the game changes every time you’re out there. It’s definitely never dull,” Lundstrom said.

Before she became the all-time digs leader in program history, Lundstrom played for First Alliance Volleyball Club, who won consecutive American Volleyball Coaches Association junior volleyball championships.

It was until she received an email from Webb inviting her for a visit that Lundstrom became aware of Belmont.

“Coach was watching one of my volleyball games in Orlando, Florida. He sent me a very nice email about coming to visit,” the senior said. “I instantly fell in love with the campus, team, and program.”

Upon Lundstrom’s acceptance to Belmont, she made an almost immediate impact.

“Jamie is a terrific athlete, very fast and quick to the ball. She came in having already played at a high level,” Webb said. “So I think that really helped her maybe starting ahead of some players who were learning when they first got here.”

Webb also believes that Lundstrom’s leadership on the volleyball court will serve her well beyond Belmont.

“She’s as good of a player as she is a person. She’s a great teammate and encourager to people around her. It’s one of her bigger strengths that will carry her not just during volleyball but beyond and into life,” Webb said.

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