North Texas Daily

Freshman setter leads team despite age difference

Freshman setter leads team despite age difference

Freshman setter leads team despite age difference
August 29
13:33 2013

Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer 

As the Mean Green volleyball team begins preparing for their first season in Conference-USA, they look to their leader, freshmen setter Amy Henard, who just happened to graduate one semester early from high school.

Henard, the youngest player on the team at 18 years old, had always wanted to come to play for the Mean Green. She then made the decision to graduate a semester early and attend UNT last spring semester. With the help of her high school counselors, she was able to make up all her hours and  graduated in the winter of 2012. She is also on a fast track in college, in which she plans to graduate early at UNT as well.

“I wanted to come here and, for one, I wanted to become closer to my teammates,” Henard said. “It is a lot easier because they call the setter the quarterback of the team and so to get to know your players and what they are like, it’s a lot easier coming in as a freshmen getting prepared for the team.”

Henard led her Brock High School team to a state championship and was a three-time All-State selection. Her teammates immediately embraced her as one of the leaders on the team and began to follow her actions, even though they are a few years older.

“I said I don’t care if you are 17, 14, or 21, you will become a leader of this team,” junior outside hitter Hanna Forst said.

Forst continued to explain that UNT is far different from other teams across the country. They don’t advocate hazing the freshmen and they make an effort to make everyone equals on the team.  What the team loved about Henard was her natural leadership abilities and how well she played her position.

While freshmen in college sports usually don’t play much in their first year, Henard was put into a starting position. According to head coach Andrew Palileo, she will be the opening day starter for the team. Hernard has done an amazing job at progressing since the spring semester, Palileo said.

“Any time you can get them acclimated early before the actual season starts, that is a good thing,” Palileo said.

He added that she has made some mistakes early but has been impressed on how well she has adjusted her game to the college level.

Hernard will start the season with the rest of the Mean Green volleyball team at the Loyola Marymount Tournament beginning on Aug. 30 in California.

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