The LSU women’s beach volleyball team has added graduate transfer Emmy Allen to their 2017 roster. Allen spent the last 2 years of her college career playing for Gonzaga’s indoor squad, and is now taking advantage of a special rule that gives athletes a 5th year of NCAA eligibility in a different sport and allows them to be immediately eligible because they finished their degrees. Prior to her stint at Gonzaga, she spent 2 years at Washington State.
While Allen’s experience is mostly indoors, she brings a big resume with her to the beach. At Gonzaga, she was named to the All-West Coast Conference during her senior season by ranking 5th in the conference with 377 kills and 3.59/set. The West Coast Conference, which includes teams like BYU, the University of San Diego, and Pepperdine, is the strongest mid-major conference in the country, and according to our final 2016 Conference Power Rankings is even a better conference than the ‘Power 5’ included ACC.
Allen’s senior season also included 186 digs, 53 blocks, and 18 service aces in 105 sets. Her versatility gives her big potential as a beach player, and especially so at her size (6’1″). In the NCAA format of volleyball, teams must win 3 out of 5 pairings to take a victory.
LSU’s beach program is entering its 4th year of full varsity recognition, and last year graduated their biggest senior class of 5 players. 4 of them were big contributors for the Tigers, including half of each of their #1, #2, and #3 pairings (based on year’s end).
The team finished 10th in last year’s final AVCA poll, and were not one of the 8 selected to participate in the NCAA Championship tournament. This year, they’ve ramped up their schedule difficulty (playing 6 of last year’s 8 NCAA championship qualifiers at least once, and sometimes twice), and brought in a new assistant – Trey Cruz. Cruz will be in his 8th season overall with volleyball at LSU – he previously served as manager and video coordinator for the indoor team from 2008-2014, and was also a player-coach on the LSU men’s club volleyball team.