Every time Jen Myer steps up to the service line, the Belmont sophomore’s mental approach is the same.
“When I go back there, I just like to hit it really hard,” Myer said. “I don’t really think about anything else but just to try to get it over the net, in the court and just to hit it really hard. ... I don’t really care about the outcome.”
For the record, though, often when Myer serves, there isn’t a return. The outside hitter leads the country with 55 aces, more than a third of Belmont’s 146, which are also tops in Division I.
“We just want to serve aggressively,” Bruins coach Deane Webb said. “If we are getting the other team out of the system, then we are successful. If we get an ace, then it is just kind of a bonus.”
Solid serving has boosted the Bruins (13-6, 4-0 Atlantic Sun) during a seven-match winning streak they take with them on the short trip down Belmont Boulevard to play rival Lipscomb at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Allen Arena.
The Bisons (10-6, 4-0) are the two-time defending conference champs, winners of eight straight overall and their last 39 against A-Sun opponents. They have won five in a row against the Bruins since Belmont won in the championship round of the 2008 conference tournament.
“They are always just a good program,” Myer said. “Any time we go to play them, we know it is going to be a good match. It will definitely help that they don’t have their big seniors from last year. But they’re still pretty good.”
Three years ago the Battle of the Boulevard rivalry was foreign to Myer — so was Belmont. But after she tore her ACL during her junior year at New Braunfels High School in Texas, she stopped hearing from schools such as Gonzaga, Texas A&M and Wake Forest.
Belmont, however, stayed on her trail — so much so that she decided to run a Google search.
“I didn’t really know who they were at all. I had never heard of [the school],” said Meyer,. “It looked pretty cool from online so we decided to take trip here. Got here, fell in love. That was it. I knew I was coming here. ... In the moment, when I did have my injury, it did kind of stink to see [other schools dropping out]. But it was really just a God thing because I love it here so much. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Rated as one of Prep Volleyball’s top 150 high school seniors, Myer has adjusted to college volleyball smoothly. As a freshman, she started in 24 matches and was second on the team with 42 aces.
At the beginning of this season, though, she struggled with her serve — more specifically, her toss.
“It is harder than it sounds,” said Myer, who is second on team in kills (211) and blocks (37). “If your toss is lined up, on your shoulder, you are going to have a pretty good serve. Also, just location, knowing the personnel back there; you know you want to serve to the weaker passer.
“... I’m not really thinking about aces. It definitely was not expected [to lead the nation] but it is pretty cool.”