BAHR EXAM PASSED: Dogs find faith in outside hitter — The Red and Black : Sports

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Rodman 31

BAHR EXAM PASSED: Dogs find faith in outside hitter

Posted: Thursday, September 3, 2009 12:00 am

Stepping into a starting role is always difficult, especially when it’s your first taste of collegiate competition.

That was the case for redshirt freshman Briana Bahr this past weekend in Atlanta at the Georgia Tech Regency Suites Invitational.

Following the 2008 season, which she viewed from the sidelines, Bahr found herself thrust into the starting lineup for the first time in her collegiate career.

It’s definitely the biggest thrill, Bahr said. This is way different from high school ball. It’s more intense and it’s a lot more fun to play.

Bahr’s performance in Atlanta proved that her newfound starting role is a well-deserved one. She finished the weekend third on the team in kills with 25.

Regardless of her early success this season, Bahr is fully aware of what’s expected of her now that she is on the court for every match.

There’s a little bit of pressure becoming a starter, but I just have been working really hard to get this spot, and now that I’ve earned it, I need to keep it and keep doing the best I can, she said.

Originally a Florida native, Bahr chose the University of Georgia for other reasons besides volleyball.

Georgia was actually my number one school for academics because I want to join the vet program here, and volleyball just happened to come along as well, Bahr said.

According to Head Coach Joel MCartney, Bahr’s lack of club volleyball experience throughout her high school years is what kept her off the court during her freshman campaign.

However, the departure of outside hitters Lindsay Gehan and All-SEC performer Maria Taylor cleared the way for Bahr to contribute in 2009.

Bahr will certainly have her hands full this season trying to fill in for Taylor, who is widely considered the best player in program history.

Taylor led the team in kills each of the past three years and finished in the top four in program history in attacks, kills and points.

But Bahr knows she will be successful whether on or off the court.

I want to move to Africa after I’m done, and I want to do some studying over there, and then I eventually want to go to the San Diego Zoo and work over there, she said.

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But Bahr should be just as successful on the court as she aspires to be off it.

Proving to be good in the classroom was nothing for Bahr, as she was in the top 10 percent of her graduating high school class, but she also had to prove it on the court.

And she did.

Bahr was named the Most Athletic Female in her high school while also making the Pensacola Sports Associations All-State honorable mention squad.

What might have caught McCartney’s eye was the fact that, with all of the top athletes in the state of Florida’s volleyball programs, Bahr was named the Most Valuable Player of the Florida High School Athletic Associations North-South All-Star match.

Needless to say, Bahr has an idea of where she wants to be after graduation, which is just a continuation of where the Bulldogs outside hitter has already been.

Bahr spent seven years in Japan as a youngster and has fond memories of living in the Far East.

I’m a military brat; my dad was in the Marines. I lived [in Japan] until I was eight. It was an experience of a lifetime, Bahr said. I actually attended a Japanese pre-school. I would go back in a heartbeat if I could.

As far as her expectations for the 2009 season, Bahr knows that it’s time for her to establish herself as a player that the Bulldogs and McCartney can lean on.

I know more now about leadership. I need to be a leader on the court now instead of just cheering on the sidelines, Bahr said. I’d say leadership is probably the biggest thing that I need to step forward with.

Rodman 31
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