Every team has a star. That one player that shines when the team needs them the most.
West Virginia volleyball's is fifth-year senior, middle blocker Briana Lynch.
Lynch hails from Chattahoochee High School in John’s Creek, Georgia, where she began her volleyball career at the age of 12 and has been playing at a high level ever since.
Lynch’s beginnings came from a local church league but then escalated into the club level and now at WVU.
“I started volleyball when I was around 12 years old,” Lynch said. “I had my church league back in Georgia, and from there, my church league coach saw potential in me, so he suggested I play for club [volleyball], which escalated into college and here I am today.”
Since joining WVU’s team in 2017, Lynch has won quite a few accolades including WVU’s Team MVP and All-Big 12 second team in 2019, as well as being a part of the AVCA All-Midwest Region First Team, All-Big 12 First Team and Academic All-Big 12 First Team in 2020.
Lynch has been a force consistently over her career, recording the second most career kills in West Virginia’s history with 259, which includes this season’s kills so far. Lynch also achieved the highest hitting percentage in a single season in WVU history, at 36 percent, last season.
Lynch throughout her athletic career, has been able to have her parents as role models and they have helped keep her motivated as well as getting her volleyball career moving.
“I’d definitely say my role models are my parents, because to be honest, without them I would not have played volleyball in the first place,” Lynch said. “Sometimes I call them when I get upset or frustrated over class, volleyball or anything happening at school, but they kept telling me to keep going, you’re perfectly fine, and you know you’re stronger than this. Honestly they’re my rock.”
Currently this season, Lynch is leading the Mountaineers in kills, with 36, as well as putting work defensively, with 13 blocks, which ranks her third amongst the team.
Although Lynch is a star physically on the court, she believes her role is more team-oriented, being able to help her team, and improve herself and her teammates.
“My role on the team is really to make everyone better,” Lynch said. “I know my role as a middle blocker is to try to keep the ball in play, as well as scoring for my team. I also make sure that everyone on the team contributes to their role as well and getting everyone pumped up for a game.”
When it comes to her own personal skills rather than her role on the volleyball court, Lynch emphasizes her communication with her teammates.
“My biggest strength on the court is definitely my communication with Lacey [Zerwas] and some of the other girls on the back row,” Lynch said. “I feel like the more I talk to them about what I need for a set, or where they need to hit, I feel like that helps 100 percent helps them get better as well as help the team win.”
Looking towards the future of the 2021 season, Lynch has some big goals in mind for herself, and the team and is determined to help her team reach their potential and change the reputation behind the Mountaineers.
“Some personal goals are since it’s my last year I really want to go off with a bang, and I just want to leave WVU with a good streak and a good memory, so that way when I look back on it, I feel like I’ve done enough for everyone in this program.
"And as a team goal, obviously to get to the NCAA tournament, and to show other power five schools that West Virginia is not just some team to laugh at or the underdogs,” Lynch said.