It is an intense volleyball match for the Lady Barons. The opposing team is passing the ball amongst itself, setting up for and executing a devastating kill that rockets the ball over the net and into the Lady Barons’ territory.
At the last moment, one of the Lady Barons leaps high into the air alongside the net and swats the ball down onto the opposing team’s side, preventing them from scoring. Just another day in the life of middle hitter Lucy Pridemore.
Pridemore, originally from Carrollton, Ohio, is a freshman with a dual major in early childhood education and special education.
As the Lady Barons’ middle hitter, Pridemore is positioned in the middle of the front row up close to the net. Her primary job is to block attack attempts from the other team, but her more flashy role is to perform kills.
Pridemore said, “A kill is whenever the people in the front row, so the people on the net, jump up and swing, and the ball … immediately hits the ground (on the other team’s side) and everyone starts cheering.”
Pridemore’s volleyball career with the Lady Barons has only spanned six matches so far; throughout that short time, Pridemore has already racked up 11 total blocks, six of which she performed solo. This streak has placed her as one of this season’s top blockers thus far.
Pridemore has also put in work carrying out a total of three aces, which are initial serves that the other team is unable to return. Also, during one match against La Roche University, Pridemore scored seven kills out of her college career total of 20.
Regarding the community among the Lady Barons, Pridemore said, “It’s amazing. … Everyone (on the team) is so nice, and we are all so supportive of each other in everything that we do. … I love all of the girls with all of my heart.”
Players on the volleyball court are required to rotate positions when the serving possession of the ball changes teams. Pridemore said she is relatively well-acquainted with the other positions and what they require, but she has been a middle hitter since she first started playing.
“I always watched my aunts play volleyball and I thought it looked really fun,” Pridemore said, “so I decided to play in middle school and I just kept playing.”
Onward from middle school, Pridemore attended Carrollton High School where she became heavily decorated for her performance on the court.
Pridemore was honored as a top player in both the Eastern Buckeye Conference and in District 5, both regional divisions in Ohio that encompass Carrollton. She was also named her team’s top hitter and was a letter winner for three years.
Earning those commendations required plenty of hard work. Pridemore said she would engage in different exercises over her summer breaks that would improve her jump height and arm swings. However, she credits her dedicated practice during the actual seasons for promoting the most growth.
“My favorite thing about playing volleyball is how much energy and joy a team can have,” Pridemore said. “Just the amount of … enthusiasm everyone has as the play is going, I think it’s amazing.”
Pridmore said one of her high school career’s most prized moments was an “immaculate” 10-foot kill, meaning she scored the point from an impressively far distance in relation to the net.
In addition to volleyball, Pridemore also did track and field in high school, participating in the discus throw and shot put. Depending on what her next semester looks like, Pridemore said she may do track and field for Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Pridemore was first inspired to attend Franciscan by two of her aunts, senior Jaci Pridemore and alumna Roz Pridemore.
“(Franciscan’s) campus is so nice, and the faith base is amazing,” Pridemore said. “Everything is just surrounded by God. … Everyone is so welcoming.”
Pridemore said, “The Lord is in everything we do (at Franciscan). He is here, he is present in … everything that is going on.”
Saint Teresa of Calcutta is Pridemore’s patron saint. Pridemore was first attracted to the saint because one of her aunts spells her name the same way. Pridemore said she learned later to admire the saint for her exemplary life.
In her free time, Pridemore loves to paint. She is particularly fond of acrylics or water-based paints. Were there more opportunities, Pridemore said she would have liked to pick up an academic minor in art.
Post-graduation, Pridemore hopes to become a teacher in her hometown for either elementary school or special education. She has become accustomed to instructing children due to her role as the oldest of six kids and the oldest of 26 grandchildren.
“I’m used to being around little kids and I love it,” Pridemore said. “I like helping kids and helping them learn new things and (helping them to) be their own person.”
In that same vein, Pridemore encourages others to “believe in yourself and believe in what you can do,” which she herself will surely do over the promising next years of her college volleyball career.