Bump, set, spike

Casey Goodwin wins weekly award

Liberty University freshman Casey Goodwin recalls being surprised by the call from head volleyball coach Shane Pinder offering her a spot on Liberty’s roster during her recruitment.

Goodwin said she was both shocked and overjoyed.

Things seemed to have worked out as Goodwin was named Big South volleyball freshman of the week after her performance in the Davidson Wildcat Classic Sept. 9-10.

FRESHMAN — Casey Goodwin prepares to serve in a Flames matchup earlier this year. Photo credit: Caroline Sellers

FRESHMAN — Casey Goodwin prepares to serve in a Flames matchup earlier this year. Photo credit: Caroline Sellers

Goodwin was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 3.63 kills per set, 0.77 aces per set and 0.85 blocks per set for the tournament.

Goodwin had the team’s first 20-kill match of the season versus USC Upstate and the team’s first five-ace match in a loss against Davidson, according to libertyflames.com.

According to libertyflames.com, this is not only the first weekly award of Goodwin’s career, but she is the first Lady Flame volleyball player to be named freshman of the week since Sirena Vorster Oct. 28, 2014.

Despite her early success, Goodwin said the first few weeks of school were an adjustment.

“The first week was hard, but the girls were great,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin said her teammates have been incredibly important in getting her acclimated to the balance of academics and athletics as well as building team chemistry.

Goodwin redirected her early season individual success and turned it back to the importance of working together as a team.

“My success proves how far we can go as individuals and as a team,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin said the girls on the team and the coaching staff were huge factors in her decision to attend Liberty. “I absolutely loved the coaches,” Goodwin said.

“The first time that we talked on the phone, we talked for an hour and a half at 11:30 at night. I had an instant connection with the coaching staff.”

Visiting Liberty’s campus solidified Goodwin’s desire to play at Liberty.

“It felt like home when I visited here,” Goodwin said. “I really loved the atmosphere and the Christian values that the school holds to.”

Goodwin’s coaches have always been an important part of her volleyball career.

Goodwin said that it was her high school coach, Coach Bunch, who helped her develop a passion for the game.

She said he is still one of her biggest supporters even in college.

“Coach Bunch still comes to all of my games,” Goodwin said. “His love for the game inspired my love of the game.”

Goodwin said that Bunch is still coaching at her former high school, Person High School, in Rougemont, North Carolina.

Goodwin said she wants to pass on that love of the game to a new generation by coaching younger kids when her playing career is over.

She praised God for all that she has accomplished so far and how far that she has come.

“I give God all of the glory and I know that I wouldn’t be here without him,” Goodwin said. “I want other people to see God through the way that I play the game.”

Goodwin wants to continue to give God glory and use the game of volleyball to minister to others.

Goodwin and the Lady Flames continue the season Sept. 30 on the road against UNC Asheville.

Cockes is a sports reporter.

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