When it comes to the one player the Liberty High School volleyball team wants with the ball at crunch time, it’s a no-brainer.
If Cami Bullock is hitting the ball, the Lancers are in good shape.
“I call her my firecracker because if we get a good pass and our setter can set the ball and get it to Cami, we know something good is going to happen,” said Lancer head coach Amanda Larson.
“We’re going to get those kills. We look to her to keep our team positive.
“We have a tendency to let the bad things kind of overwhelm us, and when Cami gets us either a block or a kill, it just kind of lights our whole team up.
“I right now look to her to do that for us.”
The returning all Bi-County league selection is more than just a big presence on the front line, though. The junior outside hitter has taken it upon herself to become a better all-around player this season for the Lancers.
“I’ve improved a lot,” said Bullock, “just being able to play back row. I didn’t play back row last year and am being a more complete player than just playing in the front row.”
“She’ll stay late after practice.” Larson said. “She’s always willing and pushing our setter to try different sets.
“She does quicks, slides and shoots that make her a more aggressive all-around player. She’s also doing a tremendous job in the back row.
“Her passing has improved tremendously. She’s not just a one-sided player. She just doesn’t focus on the hitting and the blocking.”
However, it doesn’t mean Bullock is ignoring her hitting and blocking skills.
“I just learned different kinds of sets, different types of hits and being quicker on them,” Bullock said, “angling them different and just adjusting them, so it’s tougher for the other team to block them.
“Our setter and I are really good friends, and we stay after practice and always work on it.”
Bullock, who started playing volleyball in seventh grade, is a multisport athlete at Liberty, also playing basketball and running track. While sports are a major part of her high school schedule, she also finds time for the National FFA Organization.
“I show pigs and raise them,” said Bullock, who started in FFA in fourth grade. “I do contests.
“Usually we show two, and I’ll usually have six to eight at a time. You have to have time to feed them and keep them clean and get them ready for the show. It’s time-consuming.
“You have to practice showing them. You have to walk them so that their structure is good and their muscle development is working.
“You have to study what kinds of food are good for different types of pigs. It’s fun.”
While the Lancers have gotten off to a slow start this season, Bullock is hoping to turn Liberty’s fortunes around by the end of the year.
“I just want to make it to districts and go through the Bi-County and make it to the tournament for our team – a winning season,” she said. “It’s going to be hard, but it’s still possible. It’s going to take a lot of work to get where we want to be. I think we have a lot of potential for this team, and if we work hard, we can succeed by the end of the year. We’ll have a lot of potential for next year as well.”