Western has a recruitment class stacked with talent and depth. But one dynamic standout is freshman Amanda Dalbey.
Dalbey was born in Fort Lewis, Wash. While growing up, Dalbey and her family moved numerous times to follow her dad who is active duty military. She has lived all over the United States: California, New York, Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia. Since the Dalbey family moved many times, and had to be without their father during his deployments, she developed a strong family bond to make it through the hard times.
Before settling at a high school athletics were difficult for Dalbey.
“Moving was hard on me, in an athletic aspect, because coaches see military kids as temporary so they do not want to rely on those players,” Dalbey said. “I also was not able to get involved with club systems until I was 15 years old, where other girls had been in those systems since they were ten.”
Dalbey now hails from Lansing, Kan., where she played volleyball for Lansing High School.
Although Dalbey is a very talented volleyball player, volleyball has not always been her passion.
Soccer was Dalbey’s first love early in her athletic life. She loved soccer so much, in fact, that Dalbey even had dreams of becoming the next Mia Hamm. Dalbey played varsity soccer during her freshman and sophomore years at Lansing High School, until she fell in love with volleyball.
She was so passionate about volleyball that after her sophomore year she quit soccer to focus all of her energy on her new passion.
“Being in close quarters with players on the volleyball court causes the energy and momentum to build and you get a crazy high off of it, it is addicting,” Dalbey said. “That feeling is constant on the volleyball court and I fell in love with it.”
As a Lansing Lion, Dalbey played three years on the varsity squad under the third winningest volleyball coach in Kansas, Julie Slater.
Thanks to that winning spirit, Dalbey was able to make her own mark on the team. She amassed an impressive 72-51 record over her three years on varsity.
In 2011, during Dalbey’s first varsity season, she was quickly noticed as a talented player. As a sophomore, she received Second Team All-League honors and helped her team to a 28-15 record.
As a junior, in 2012, Dalbey continued to be recognized as an elite player. This time, she recieved First Team All-League honors and assisted her team to a 24-17 record.
During her senior year, in 2013, Dalbey continued to play at a high level. She was the Lions’ captain and was named First Team All-League for a second time and led her team to a 20-19 record.
After her senior year, Dalbey went on a visit to Missouri Western and noticed that the Griffon volleyball coaches believed in and were passionate about their program. This quickly made Dalbey realize that the Griffon program was one that she could call home.
Dalbey’s hustle and never-give-up style of play made her an attractive recruit for the Griffons, according to head coach Marian Carbin.
“She has that special ability to put herself in the right position and never give up on any ball, which makes her a special talent,” Carbin said.
Although Dalbey is only a freshman, Carbin believes that she already shows leadership abilities.
“Dalbey is very talkative on the court and is always encouraging her teammates,” Carbin said. “She is that player that leads by example, and she believes that she can make every single play.”
Dalbey has been working closely with Sarah Faubel and Holly Pollock to sharpen her skills and help the Griffons be as competitive as possible.
Another returner from last years team that is noticing the potential in Dalbey include, junior Jessie Thorup.
“She stepped right in as a freshman, she was not timid and she immediately worked well with the team,” Thorup said. “Her vocal style of play will definitely help her with her leadership skills as she progresses through college volleyball.”