By LARRY VAUGHT
Madison Lilley looked up to a lot of volleyball players before she helped Kentucky win its first national championship and was named the nation’s best player for her play.
One she looked up to the most was three-time Olympic medalist Jordan Larson, who was also an All-American and national champion at Nebraska.
Now Lilley is part of coach Craig Skinner’s staff at Kentucky and hoping to be able to be a role model like Larson was for her.
“I am hoping to be able to connect to young women on things that are not always volleyball-related,” Lilley said. “She (Larson) likes to read and has other passions. She is not just hard core volleyball all the time.
“At the end of the day I put my Spandex on like they (other players) do. I want to hopefully be able to inspire and motivate others while having a connection to things more than just volleyball is the biggest thing I want to bring.”
She knows working for Skinner will give her that chance because of the way he is.
“I value Craig and the type of coaching stay and poise and demeanor he has. He’s different from most coaches and that’s probably an understatement,” she said. “He has something young women value and benefit from.
“No matter what the score is, if you look at his team, coaching staff or the bench, you will not know if they are up or down. That is something special to be part of. No matter the outcome, we are in it together. That camaraderie is something I valued when I was playing but value even more now.”