Senior volleyball player Lexi Egler became the fifth player in Youngstown State University history to record 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs earlier this month in a match against Valparaiso University.
Head coach Mark Hardaway believes that Egler’s greatest strength is her complete all-around athletic ability.
“In basketball, they call them ballers, just kids that know how to play the game. Lexi’s one of those players — she knows how to play the game,” Hardaway said.
Getting her 1,000th kill and 1,000th dig was a goal that Egler had set coming into the season.
“I had no idea that there was only four girls that have actually gotten it in the past. It’s just such an honor and a great accomplishment,” Egler said. “Coming in, being a little freshman, I never thought I would be in the spot that I’m in right now.”
Egler currently ranks 10th all-time in kills with 1,011 and 14th in digs with 1,010. Assistant coach Sarah Smith thinks it is Egler’s work ethic that separates her from the average player.
“She’s always the first one in, the last one out. Looking to improve herself and she really leads by example,” Smith said.
According to Smith, Egler’s work ethic has allowed her to improve and add new dimensions to her game.
“She’s added some more tools to her repertoire,” Smith said. “Her shot variety has increased a lot and that’s what is making her a tough opponent to scout, and that’s also helping her get those kills every single match.”
Hardaway also believes that Egler’s work ethic has allowed for her to improve to the point where she is at now. When Hardaway first arrived on campus, his early impressions of Egler left him wondering if she was too small to play the front line, but through hard work she has developed into a great overall player.
“When I first got here, I was really concerned about Lexi being big enough to play front row,” Hardaway said. “She’s just a really, really well-rounded player for us, and you have to have those. The kids who play six rotations and that understand how the games played.”
Egler is on pace this year to record over 300 kills and digs this season, and if she is able to do so, she will become the fourth player in YSU history to do so in multiple seasons. Smith won’t be surprised if Egler reaches 300 kills.
“If Lexi puts her mind to something, it’s very hard to get in the way,” Smith said.
Egler has 222 kills and 205 digs so far this season, and is averaging career highs in both categories with 3.17 kills and 2.93 digs per game.
“If you look at overall players, I think she’s got to be in that top group,” Hardaway said. “When you just look at what she does as an all-around player, I think she has to be in that group.”