Junior middle blocker Lindsy Hartsock (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
Lindsy Hartsock has been known to draw a lot of attention. From her 6-4 frame to her many awards including being named All-MWC, MWC Player of the Week and MWC Freshman of the year, Hartsock has continued to shine in the spotlight. However, she will be the first to admit that she could not do it without her family and her teammates.
"In my younger years, my parents were an incredible support to me," said the junior from Inkom, Idaho. "They were completely supportive in anything that I chose to do. They made sure that they were at all of my games whenever they could be there, especially at all my home games, and they followed me on the road when they could. They have been a huge support for me. Now it is also my coaches and my teammates that help drive me."
Hartsock credits her teammates as the reason she excels at what she does and describes her relationship with the girls on a team as a close family.
"We are very close together," Hartsock said. "We are there for each other for the good and the bad, which makes us stronger, especially because we have been through some bad."
Hartsock values all of her memories while playing and looks forward to creating countless more in the upcoming season. Despite the many achievements and awards that she has earned, her favorite moment in her collegiate career involves her interactions with her teammates.
"I love when someone on my team does something really well and we all get excited for each other and everybody is smiling," Hartsock said. "It's not really one big moment; it is all the little things that make volleyball so great."
Hartsock excels at everything she does. In high school she lettered in volleyball, basketball and track. She was offered a scholarship for both basketball and volleyball at BYU but chose volleyball due to the influence of her high school volleyball coach, Alice Heberlein.
"My coach in high school was an amazing woman," Hartsock said. "She taught me to truly love the sport of volleyball and that is what it came down to when I chose. I really didn't have any other good reason other than her influence. It was a really hard decision. I wanted to play both but then I decided that I wouldn't necessarily be cheating myself, but I wouldn't develop fully as a player in either sport if I did that. And I really wanted to progress as far as I could and I didn't feel like I could if I chose both."
Her decision seems the only logical one when seen in action on the court facing the opponents. Compared to previous years, the Cougars' schedule is not as intense, but Hartsock is looking forward to the upcoming season and treating each game like it is the national championship.
"I think that it is not a tough schedule, but it is a good schedule for us to come out and really win all of our games and really show people what we are going to be about this year. And how BYU programs are going to be back up where we should be and really take the chance to roll over teams. If it is a team that we should beat, then we come out and play every game like it as a national championship."
And that is one of Lindsy's goals for the upcoming season--the National Championship. Hartsock is also very optimistic about new volleyball head coach Jason Watson.
"I am excited," Hartsock said. "I think that he is going to be an amazing head coach. Obviously he is in his first year but he has a lot of experience behind him with being an assistant. I think he is going to be one of the best coaches that BYU ever had, not that they have had a ton, he is definitely going to be an amazing coach and I feel BYU made the right choice by bringing him into the program."
Lindsy has also set some pretty high goals for herself as well as the team.
"My ultimate goal is to become an All-American," Hartsock said. "Personally I want to get a lot better with my foot speed and get better at blocking and having more range offensively. I also want to be more of a threat offensively than I have been in the past, and just really step it up with blocking. We lost a great block with Lindsey Metcalf on the right side. I really want to fill in and step up as a better blocker this year."
With numerous awards to her credit, Hartsock said the early recognition in her career has pressured her to perform better.
"It was really surprising to win MWC Freshman of the Year," Hartsock said. "I came in as such a raw player and the coaches and the team really helped me to develop a lot as a person and as a player. It was an exciting year. The pressure does not bother me. It keeps me pushing to always want to do better next year and never settle. It pressures me to set my goals really high. Awards are great, and it is great to be recognized, but in volleyball the award goes completely to the team. But it is always nice to be recognized."
With such an achieving attitude, it is hard to imagine that there is a single goal that Lindsy has set out for and did not obtain. However, there is one.
"I had promised that I would not get married while at BYU because that is what everybody does," Hartsock said. "I was determined that I was not going to get married here at BYU."
Then she met Ben Hartsock, who is 6-9, on a blind date and the rest is history. Lindsy credits Ben for a lot of her success.
"He is so supportive of me and playing volleyball," Hartsock said. "He gives me so much confidence. He has helped my confidence a ton, not only with self-esteem, but also with confidence on the court. He is always telling me how great I am, and of course he is my biggest fan. He takes so much pride in that. I think that he knows more about my stats and how I do than I ever dream of knowing."
Lindsy's family comes to almost every game. Her siblings even joke that they do not get to see their parents unless Lindsy is in season.
"It is so nice to see my family before the game," Hartsock said. "I guess that is part of my routine, to look up and see those faces. It is really comforting to me. All the support has been such a blessing."
Lindsy said the key to her success is finding a balance in her life and making time for the things that are important.
"This upcoming season is going to be amazing," Hartsock said. "I am looking forward to it. I wouldn't have it any other way. I couldn't imagine coming to college and not playing volleyball."
And the Cougars could not imagine not having Lindsy on the team. The 2004 Collegiate Volleyball Update Blocker of the Year, Hartsock was second in the nation in blocking last season, averaging 1.86 blocks per game. She was also tops in the Mountain West Conference and 25th in the nation with a .380 hitting percentage.
So far in 2005, the Cougars are a perfect 2-0 and Lindsy is once again proving her worth on the court. Hartsock currently leads the Cougars with a .356 hitting percentage --- fourth in the MWC -- while recording 2.50 kills per game and 1.00 blocks per game. BYU Head Coach Jason Watson is certainly glad to have Lindsy on his side of the net.
"Lindsy, through hard work and dedication, has developed into one of the most productive middles in our conference," said Watson. "This year we have added to her responsibilities by having her serve as one of our captains. While there is always a great deal to worry about when coaching, we never worry about Lindsy and her approach to the game."