GOPHER SPOTLIGHT: MOLLY LOHMANG
Junior Molly Lohman knows she’s not the loudest player on the court, but she knows how to do her job.
So far, the Mankato native has started in all 16 matches this season, helping her team to a 14-2 record and high rankings in the AVCA National Poll. Against Indiana, she held a perfect and career-high hitting percentage of 1.000.
Lohman earned her role on the team as starting middle blocker last year after leading the team in blocks, playing in 122 of 129 possible sets, and improving her kill record from 37 as a freshman to 172 as a sophomore.
“I’ve changed a lot since last year,” Lohman said. “I’ve made a lot of changes and I think that it’s paying off.”
Her progress can be attributed to time spent playing with USA Volleyball. For the past two summers, Lohman played on the U.S. Collegiate National team, first in China and then in Europe this past summer.
“In both places, the volleyball is a lot different than it is here – it’s out of the norm,” Lohman said. “The balls are faster, they do different things that you have to learn to react to.”
Lohman said she’s thankful for her experiences and the way they’ve shaped her play.
“Anyone who gets the opportunity to play overseas gets a broader knowledge of volleyball,” Lohman said. “It makes you a better volleyball player all around.”
Her first experience playing abroad in China with teammates Hannah Tapp and Sarah Wilhite prepared her for the second time around.
“Because I played the first summer, the second summer was a lot easier for me,” Lohman said. “I was a lot more confident with my play second summer so I think it went a lot better. I also had Alyssa [Goehner] with me the second summer. It was good to have her there.”
Although she had a few Minnesota teammates with her each summer, Lohman learned how to play with new people, and said she stepped up to take on a leadership role.
“This summer, there was a lack of a leader on our team for USA,” Lohman said. “I learned to help be the leader. I think that’s going into this season.”
Because of her quiet personality, Lohman uses a different style of leading on the court.
“I’m more of a lead by example type person,” Lohman said. “This year especially, I’ve been working on doing my job so I can tell others to do their job. I think you have to do something before you can tell someone else to do something.”
As shown by the Gophers’ record this season, the team is prepared for what’s to come this season.
“Our team chemistry is as good as ever,” Lohman said. “I’m really excited for the season ahead of us.”