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Volleyball Player of the Year: DeKalb's Madison Lord

DeKALB – Madison Lord was DeKalb’s main setter last season, and she was expected to be a key part for the Barbs in 2013.

However, this past year still was an adjustment for Lord. She has been playing volleyball since the sixth grade, but she never had been part of a 5-1 rotation.

Lord, whether it be for school or club, always had been part of a 6-2 rotation, which consists of a setter in both the front and back row. In a 5-1, there’s only one setter on the floor.

Previously, Lord never had set when she was in the front row – she was a hitter when she was up there. This season, that was something she had to get used to, but in the end, Lord ran the Barbs’ offense just fine, finishing with team highs in assists (609) and aces (52) while helping DeKalb to the Northern Illinois Big 12 East championship.

For her efforts, she has been named the 2013 Daily Chronicle Volleyball Player of the Year.

“This time (in the front row) I had to turn around, find where the ball was passed, find it and set it,” Lord said. “That was a different part of the game that I had never done before.”

Running the offense for a talented DeKalb team, Lord was what made the Barbs’ offense click. Lord was a 2012 Daily Chronicle first-team all-area selection and second-year DeKalb coach Ben Fisher said the senior setter was a sound, consistent player for his squad in 2013.

“She makes good decisions. She’s very good at reversing the volleyball, she’s very good at eye tracking, watching the blockers on the other side and making sure what those blockers are doing,” Fisher said.

“She’s great at exploiting one-on-one matchups and she knows what are best options are in every rotation. Who’s in the front row, who we want to feed the ball to, those sorts of things.

“She’s very intuitive, she’s a smart player.”

And Lord did have plenty of options. DeKalb featured hitters like Courtney Bemis, Courtney Wagner and Abby Hickey.

The Barbs had enough depth this season where there were a number of players that Lord had confidence in setting.

Fisher said that when Lord trusted all of DeKalb’s hitters the Barbs’ offense was at its best.

“It’s kind of a 50-50 street, you trust your attackers, they trust that you’re going to get them the ball, and they’re always ready,” Fisher said. “If she doesn’t spread the ball around, then our attackers aren’t always ready, then the system doesn’t work as well as it did this year.”

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