Some athletes may increase their record-book rankings during their collegiate athletic experience. Senior business major Elizabeth Smith has been climbing the all-time assists ladder at the University of Dallas, where she currently sits as all-time fourth for UD’s volleyball program. She is just 49 assists away from reaching third.
“My mom has been a coach for 25 years,” said Smith. “I grew up around the sport and fell in love with it in high school. I’ve played since I was 11.”
In addition to lettering three times in high school volleyball, Smith was All-State, All-Conference, and All-Academic. She continued her love for the sport at UD and has lettered in the 2015, 2016, and 2017 seasons.
“Skill-wise it helped, and I had a lot of experience playing at a high level,” said Smith. “My game has definitely developed since I’ve been in college.”
Smith played in 34 matches in 2015, 34 matches in 2016, and 21 matches in 2017. She had a team-high 683 assists in 2015, was first on the team again with 982 assists in 2016, and was second at UD in assists with 273 in 2017.
“[I have spent] hours and hours of practice with hitters and on my own,” said Smith. “I think the most important thing is really connecting with your hitters and spending time with them in the gym.”
Smith broke 30 assists in six matches and 40 in three games in 2015, she broke 30 assists in 17 matches and 40 in four games in 2016, and recorded 33 assists and 20 digs versus Randall University on Oct. 5 in 2017. Smith commented on some of her favorite memories with the UD volleyball team.
“My two favorite games were beating Trinity my freshman year and beating Austin College in a really, really tight [home] match with a really good crowd and energy,” Smith said.
Smith hit double-digits in assists 31 times in 2015 and had double-digits in every match in 2016. At the start of the 2018 season she had accumulated 1,665 assists for sixth place all-time in the UD program, and since then has moved up to fourth place.
“Value your time here,” Smith advised. “It’s a really big time commitment, and so it’s really hard to remember why you put in that time. If you just take time away from it and really reflect on what your goals are, remember your teammates are all going through the same stuff, and to talk and work with them. It really helps.”