YOUNGSVILLE — Ascension Episcopal’s Addie Vidrine does not play volleyball like a freshman.
This is her third season playing varsity for the Blue Gators. Vidrine was named to the all-state team last year as an eighth-grader and was named All-Acadiana MVP.
“Addie’s a beast,” AES coach Jill Braun said. “She has played on a club team that has won a national championship and competed at a high level since she was 12. Her size and power certainly play to her benefit, but she works hard. She’s a winner.”
Braun said Vidrine may be playing with a little something to prove this season after beginning the year on the bench — sidelined with an ankle injury. Vidrine said dealing with the injury was something she wasn’t quite prepared for.
“When I got hurt, it was bad,” Vidrine said. “I don’t like sitting on the bench and knowing I was never going to get in. That was really hard. When I came back, I was scared. Every time they sent me a ball that wasn’t perfect, I would just stop. I hit a patch where I stopped playing like myself.”
Braun said Vidrine was champing at the bit to get into the games, and she said she knew being on the bench was an issue.
“No one wants to be on the bench, but Addie Vidrine is a competitor,” Braun said. “If it was up to her, she’d be playing in every single point of every single match.”
Vidrine said eventually, she just “got over it,” and returned to her MVP form from a season ago. Monday night, in a straight-sets victory over Central Catholic, Vidrine showed off that form with 16 kills. Braun said at this point, she expects those types of performances from her star freshman.
“This is game time when it counts,” Braun said. “Addie is always going to show up to play. I don’t necessarily know if anyone likes to win more than her. When the game is on the line and we need things taken care of, 100 times out of 100, Addie’s going to step up to the plate and make sure she takes care of business.
“She sees the court on the other side so well and with her strength, she can put the ball straight down. She sees the block and defense and hits where they’re not. With the power she has, that plays to her benefit.”
Vidrine has had a strong support system on the varsity squad thus far — none bigger than her sister Sydney. Vidrine said having Sydney on the team with her has been awesome, but she knows it’s coming to an end.
“I played varsity since seventh-grade,” Vidrine said. “Sidney’s been such a big part of my varsity experience thus far. She’s a senior and really helps me through it all. I don’t know what I am going to do next year without her. I look up to her, and she is there for me all the time.”
Braun has no worries about Vidrine’s future. The Blue Gators have five freshmen on the varsity who play a significant role. Vidrine said the coaches never put any pressure on her to put the team on her back. Vidrine said she has plans to make volleyball a big part of her future.
“I want to play for a really long time, she said. “I don’t want to stop after high school. I don’t even want to stop after college. I just want to keep this going.”