January 30, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN

CARTERVILLE – It’s not all about the hitting in volleyball. It takes good defense to win games, too, and John A. Logan College coach Bill Burnside is hopeful he has landed a talented defensive specialist in Ali Amici of Mascoutah, the team’s libero.

“Ali should be an impact player for us,” Burnside said. “We have added a lot of hitting and blocking for 2015, and several girls who have the potential to be primary passers. Many of these girls will need to prove that they can produce quality passes and digs consistently. Ali should be the exception. She has proven herself in the past as a quality ball-control player and should be effective in this role immediately.”

Amici was selected Mississippi Valley All-Conference and won the Most Valuable Defensive Player and Leadership awards on her team. She was also named to the All-Tournament Team at Quincy last fall. She is a four-year varsity performer and started at the libero position each of the last two years.

“I love the way Ali plays,” Burnside said. “Liberos are critical to passing schemes, hitter coverage, and team defense. Ali has had quality coaching and knows already how to contribute in all these areas, and how to switch quickly between these roles during play. She seems to be in the correct position constantly and makes plays look easy.”

Burnside said Amici never seems to get too high or too low emotionally.

“I think this will translate well to the collegiate level and make her a consistent, reliable contributor,” he said.

Amici said what attracted her to Logan was the location of the college, the coaches and players.

“It seems to be a good fit for me,” she said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to play at the next level. I didn’t want my last competitive experience in volleyball to be high school. I love the sport too much to give up on it. At Logan, I want to do whatever I can to help the team win.”

Amici added that she wants to challenge herself to be a top-notch collegiate player.

“It helps to be quick with your feet when you are a defensive specialist, but what helps even more is being one step ahead of the play – thinking about where the ball might be going before it is ever hit.”