While senior Lici McGee is predominantly recognized for playing above the net on the volleyball court as the team’s 6-foot-3-inch middle blocker, not many are aware of how she excels off it.
The redshirt middle blocker has already earned her degree in sports administration and also interned last spring semester with the women’s basketball team as an assistant for day-to-day operations.
Her responsibilities ranged from keeping an inventory of supplies for the team, to running pre- and post-game errands, to making sure all the players’ pre-game meals are prepared.
“As an athlete, I see how our team works, but when you work in the office, you see how the coaching works, the recruiting, how it all comes together,” McGee said.
She explained that the value of learning everything about the backbone of the athletic department, in addition to the connections she made, cannot be measured.
McGee spent her summer recovering from offseason elbow surgery, and the savvy veteran is now prepared to make her final year of eligibility count.
“You can see how it’s all clicking together finally. I really have very high expectations for us,” McGee said.
Last season McGee registered a team-high 117 blocks and was second on the team with 243 kills. As one of the upperclassmen on the team, she hopes to continue leading vocally and by example.
“I’m the loudest person you’d probably ever meet,” she said. “I definitely bring the enthusiasm and the comic relief to the team.”
For her efforts, she was selected to the preseason All-ACC team.
She is picking up this season right where she left off. Miami is 7-1 and has beat some quality opponents due to McGee’s presence on the net.
She is averaging 2.17 kills per set, good for third best on the squad while also tallying 18 total blocks thus far.
McGee’s team leadership doesn’t go unnoticed by head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch.
She’s coached McGee since she first walked through the Hecht Athletic Center door as a freshman from Warr Acres, Okla. and has witnessed both her confidence and assertiveness develop.
“She brings a great deal of energy into our gym and a lot of fire and spirit,” Lantagne Welch said. “It’s something that’s contagious to the rest of the team.”
That kind of enthusiasm transcends her relationships with her teammates on and off the court, and Lantagne Welch has taken note of how it has benefited the team.
McGee not only partakes in developing the team’s chemistry, but Lantagne Welch also speaks highly of her athletic abilities on the court.
“She can really overtake a game when she gets hot. Her ability to both attack and shut down opponents is something that can be felt and feared,” she said.
David Furones may be contacted at email@example.com.