When I wander around club tournaments, I love to visit with college coaches about their teams and always ask if they have any players with interesting stories.
When I met Utah’s Beth Launiere last April at a tournament in Salt Lake City, her reaction was quick.
Carly Trueman, she said.
She rides motorcycles, sky dives, and snow boards.
That got my attention.
And Launiere shook her head and smiled.
“She stresses me out on a daily basis,” the coach said. “I can’t stop her. It’s just who she is.”
When Trueman heard about that, she laughed heartily.
But before we get to all that, consider this:
Last weekend, Trueman had four kills and four block assists in a 3-0 loss in a tournament at Louisville, she had three more kills and couple more block assists in a 3-0 loss to Ohio, and then in a 3-2 victory over Seton Hall, Trueman had 10 kills, five digs, eight block assists and a solo.
Nothing about those numbers jump out at you, but you should know the 6-foot-1 sophomore middle/right side from Tucson, Ariz., was playing with a broken left hand the past two weeks.
“It’s not too bad,” she said.
And here’s the best part: She didn’t even do it being a daredevil. For that matter, Trueman wouldn’t say how, only allowing that it was something stupid.
“It’s not a good story,” she said.
At least the economics major is right-handed.
OK, now for the fun stuff. Like how she started riding dirt bikes as a 5-year-old but had to lay off the past few months because Trueman had surgery for chronic tendinitis in her knee.
“My dad raised me and brother on dirt bikes from the time we could ride a bicycle,” she said.
Trueman has a 600 cc Yamaha road bike that she uses to get around the University of Utah.
“I commute with it because parking is awful on campus,” she said.
“But I’m going a little stir crazy since I broke my hand and I’m not allowed to ride my bike.”
“I did that my redshirt year, my first year here,” she said. “Decided to go sky-diving with my best friend.”
She laughed again.
“I love dirt biking. Jumping out of planes was pushing the limit for me. But I have been on a roller-coaster only like three times in my life. I’m not a fan of roller-coasters. There are certain things I like.”
Somewhere in there I’d read that she also has a knife collection.
“Well, I don’t like to call it a knife collection. But I have a couple of knives.
“I usually have one with me and I have a butterfly knife that I just play around with.”
And she laughed again.
“I think my teammates feel safe with me around. My roommates, too.”
The Utes, 6-4, play host to BYU on Thursday night before opening Pac-12 play at home next Wednesday against Colorado.
“We’re a pretty young team,” Trueman said, ?but I think we’re going to be a force this year.”
Nebraska swept Creighton, but …
Before the match, my old friend Tom Shatel had this column in the Omaha World-Herald about how cool it was that two schools from Nebraska were competing with a ton of interest.
Alaska-Anchorage up to No. 12
We mentioned this yesterday in the Swog Blog, but a great story is developing in Alaska as the Seawolves have their highest ranking ever. Click here for the story in the Alaska Dispatch News.
Volleyball grows in Maine
This story from Deirdre Fleming in the Portland Press-Herald is just what we want to hear. She reports that 29 high schools are now playing volleyball in our northeastern-most state.