Freshman Adanna Rollins makes quick impression

Rollins credited hard work and extra time for her success.

Freshman Adanna Rollins spikes a ball during the game on Thursday, Sept. 13 at Maturi Pavilion. Gopher womens volleyball defeated Green Bay in three straight sets.

Image by Tony Saunders

Freshman Adanna Rollins spikes a ball during the game on Thursday, Sept. 13 at Maturi Pavilion. Gopher women’s volleyball defeated Green Bay in three straight sets.

by David Mullen

After joining the No. 7 Minnesota volleyball team in January, freshman outside hitter Adanna Rollins has looked like a serious threat to opponents.

This season, Rollins has had 17 points off 16 kills against Stanford on Sept. 9, twelve digs against Oregon on Sept. 7 and has played in every set for the Gophers.

She has led the team in points twice this year: first against Georgia Southern and again against Stanford.

“I wasn’t expecting to be an impact player,” Rollins said. “I just wanted to do my part.”

Since moving to Minneapolis a semester early, the Texas native said the transition to a new home was easier than the transition to playing at the Division 1 level.

“Volleyball was a little harder because this is college and the girls know more than me,” Rollins said. “Weather-wise, it was different because it was cold.”

Rollins came to the University a semester early, which head coach Hugh McCutcheon said gave her time to learn how to become a student-athlete.

Sophomore opposite hitter Stephanie Samedy said the more time she gets in her position, the better she will get.

“Anytime you can get reps to help develop yourself as a player is always a positive,” Samedy said.

When Rollins arrived, the coaching staff had high hopes for her. McCutcheon said they knew she was talented upon her arrival, but the transition from high school to college isn’t always easy.

Rollins chose Minnesota over various other schools mainly because of McCutcheon.

“Just to play under [McCutcheon] was like a dream for me,” Rollins said. “I feel like he can help me get to the next level if I want to play after college.”

Rollins had to become more fundamentally sound with her game and coach McCutcheon said she has worked hard to do that.

“To her credit, she’s really tried to make some technical changes, which has allowed her to put more pop on the ball consistently,” McCutcheon said.

During the team’s workouts during the winter and before the season, Rollins said she had a few bad habits to eliminate.

“My footwork was all over the place. It worked in high school but not here,” Rollins said. “I just listened to what the coaches were telling me to do, and I think I’ve really improved.”

Although she didn’t have much confidence coming into the year, Rollins said gaining confidence has helped her team. Rollins credits those around her like Samedy and junior Alexis Hart, along with the coaching staff for her growth.

“Now that I know what I’m capable of, it changed my perspective a little,” Rollins said. “It makes me want to help the team more because I can have such a big impact.”