Libero: Not as free as it may seem

Libero%3A+Not+as+free+as+it+may+seem

Jessica Deutsch

Junior Lauren Pisauro has ascended to the starting Libero. The Washington Crossing native plays five out of six rotations a game

Photo by Christie Behot ‘16

If you’ve ever been to a volleyball game, you’ll notice that there is always one player on the team wearing an entirely different color uniform. Junior co-captain Lauren Pisauro isn’t your average on-court player; she is a defensive specialist, more commonly known as the libero. The libero is restricted to only playing defense, but can sub and rotate like any other player. Lauren typically comes in and serves for the middles, the taller players up front, who usually are seniors Katy Rooney and Danielle Towslee and sophomore Kelly Flynn. 

The libero position was added to indoor volleyball in 1999 in order to create more rallies and make the game overall, more exciting. They are responsible for a great deal of the passing and defending. Lauren is known for her excellent passing which helps with the team’s ball control.

 With no attacking responsibilities, the libero must chase down every ball they can. Pisauro may seem exempt from all of the normal rules, however, she can’t break the plane of the net with a typical spike. Not restricted entirely from scoring, she can push or hit the ball over the net. 

Originally recruited as a defensive specialist, Pisauro started playing late, at the age of 16. She was primarily an outside hitter, but sustained an injury to her rotator cuff and tore some ligaments, forcing her to only play back row. She was looking at many division three schools as an outside hitter due to her height, but the unlucky injury turned out to be just what she needed. Pisauro was the perfect height for a division one libero and was picked up by Lafayette for her excellent defensive skills. Number 10 now plays five out of six rotations a game. 

Right now the Leopards are struggling with a 3-8 record. Their biggest obstacle is that they have no setters with sophomore Samantha Volk injured and freshman Madeline Titus out for the count. 

“We’re trying to make other people into setters but it’s hard because that’s what you train for when you’re 13. We’re doing our best to train new personnel to be division 1 setters but hopefully all the injuries can bounce back,” Pisauro said.

The team has had an extremely tough out of conference schedule, facing teams like Oregon State and Hofstra University. The rest of the team seems to be picking up the slack with consistent solid performances from seniors Katy Rooney offensively and Melanie Weiss defensively. Sophomore outside hitter Jet Manzi has also been doing well, picking up the tournament team player accolades at the Hofstra University tournament. The Leopards play Navy this Sunday at home in their second Patriot League contest of the season.