Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Wando Warriors senior Natalie Tucker is the best at what she does and Monday the S.C. Coaches Association for Women’s Sports confirmed it.
After already garnering All-Region VII and All-State postseason nods, the volleyball star received the highest of praise Monday as the SCCAWS awarded her Class 4A Player of the Year. The award is voted on by coaches from every team in every classification. Each coach receives one vote.
“I’m so excited,” Tucker said. “I didn’t even know this was possible. But I obviously couldn’t have done anything without Coach (Alexis) Glover and my teammates.”
The Warriors’ captain led her team to a Lower State championship earlier this month after a perfect 23-0 regular season. Tucker turned in a team-high 998 assists as a left-handed setter, averaging eight per set, sixth-best statewide. She finished the season third on the team with a .417 hitting percentage to go with 360 digs and a 98.4 serving percentage.
A rare four-year starter, Tucker blossomed her junior season into Region VII Player of the Year and followed that up with a second Region Player of the Year award as a senior. She has been named to every All-Tournament team she’s played in the past two seasons and will compete in the North-South All-Star matches Nov. 21 at Erskine College.
Tucker credits Glover for her accomplishments, saying it was the hall-of-fame coach who brought the best out of her and helped her develop from an average player to the best in the state.
“Coach Glover told me my goal was to be a leader this year and I feel like I’ve come close to accomplishing that so I’m pretty excited, Tucker said. “She took me from nothing in eighth grade to everything my senior year.”
But Glover says it was Tucker’s intangibles that, mixed with her talent on the court, made her such a valuable asset for the Warriors the past few seasons.
“She leads by example and always gets the job done,” Glover said. “She’s unselfish. She’s a team player and always puts the team first. I wish I could have her just one more year.”
Tucker has offers from Newberry and Limestone College and says, right now, she’s leaning toward the latter. But wherever she ends up next season, Tucker says more volleyball is definitely in the plans.
“I’m going to miss playing with this team but I’m looking forward to next season,” she said. “Playing college volleyball, playing beach volleyball, I’m not going to stop.”