Throughout the 2018 beach season, former All-ACC honoree Taylor Fricano and a few other fifth-year players heading from the gym to the beach will walk through their transitions to the beach game in VolleyMob’s My Journey to the Beach series.
Fricano, who played indoor at Wisconsin and North Carolina, will make her beach debut as a member of the Missouri State team. The Paletine, Illinois, native redshirted her true freshman season and played in just six matches the following year with the Badgers.
After transferring to UNC, the Palatine, Illinois, native notched 413 kills, 305 blocks, 22 aces and 88 digs in three years at North Carolina. Fricano, who played middle blocker, outside hitter and opposite as a collegian, wrapped her Tar Heel career ranked 11th in block assists (284) and 12th in blocks per set (1.05). She also set the UNC season block assists record as a redshirt junior en route to All-ACC second team honors as the Tar Heels advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16.
Missouri State is 7-6 in its debut season on the sand. The team is slated to wrap up the regular season with a pair of duels against Coastal Carolina and Charleston, April 13 and 14. But first, the Bears will play a final home event, contending the Maroon & White Scrimmage on April 6 in Springfield, Missouri.
In her third entry, Fricano takes stock of her career, both indoor and on the beach, and the final leg of her journey on and off the courts.
And just like that, I have only two weeks left of college athletics. It has been an incredible run and, although it isn’t over, I could not be more proud of everything that I’ve accomplished over the past semester/5 years.
To say that this team has changed me would be an understatement. This team has done more for me than I could ever put into words. Never would I have thought that this team would be one of my favorites to play on.
The girls on this team are so loving, so caring, and so appreciative for all that they have at Missouri State. Through the three schools I’ve attended, I’ve seen the most amazing gifts taken for granted: the travel, the gear, the ability to be called a “student-athlete”. However, there are no girls on this team that take a piece of gear, a minute of their day, or a chance to call themselves a “beach Bear” for granted.
In the middle of our California trip, Veronica and I finally started to hit an incredible rhythm. We were in sync, communicating well and, most importantly, having fun. With a huge win over California State – Bakersfield, we knew we were hitting our stride. When we returned, the train kept moving. Our practices have been clean and exciting. We’re making plays we have never made and hitting shots we have never hit.
Fortunately, we have one weekend left to show our stuff. Heading to Columbia, South Carolina, to play two top 20 teams is the exact time and place to show what “V” and I are made of.
Looking back, I would do it all over again. I am incredibly grateful for Missouri State, my coaches, and my teammates for making my college career end the amazing journey it has been. Three schools, three conferences, and two sports later… I am so proud to be a Bear.
My Journey to the Beach: Taylor Fricano
Entry 1: Feb. 19, 2018
Entry 2: March 1, 2018