Wetherholt played big sister role at Milligan


Lindsey Wetherholt

By Rebecca Pierson
Asst. Sports Editor
rpierson@starhq.com

  Lindsey Wetherholt was the big sister this season for the Milligan College Lady Buffalo volleyball team. Being the only senior in a group of 11 freshmen and three sophomores, Wetherholt was an outstanding leader as co-captain for a squad which built on experiences throughout the season.
  A former All-Conference, All-District and All-North East Tennessean, she played under the now Milligan head coach Kim Hyatt while at Dobyns-Bennett High School. Her parents, Bill and Debbie, and sister, Kaley, still reside in Kingsport.
  Sometimes it is hard for a local girl to move away from home to a college campus without knowing anyone, as Lindsey found out her freshman year at Lincoln Memorial University.
  "I was unhappy at LMU," Lindsey said. "It was crazy. The day my Mom drove me up there, we both cried and cried. I was so homesick. I knew no one. I had no friends up there.
  "Coach Hyatt called my parents when she got the job at Milligan," she said. "It was weird how it happened."
  Lindsey will graduate soon and will be leaving a coach she has played seven years for and a group of friends in her teammates that have had a lasting impression in her life.
  "Overall, I have been very pleased at Milligan," she said. "I am really going to miss these girls. They are amazing. They always are seeking my approval on who they date, and sometimes I don't approve. I guess I have been like a big sister. I feel like I have 11 new sisters [in the freshman class on the squad]. There is only success in their future. Even if only six or so of them stay together, they will be successful in the program."
  "Coach Hyatt is a hard coach," she said. "She is very demanding and stern. My freshman year in high school I was a little intimidated, but you become equipped to her. I have been very happy playing with her."
  Hyatt has also been very happy with Lindsey.
  "She was my setter when she was in high school," Hyatt said. "She has done an outstanding job. She has been the go-to-hitter whenever we are in a pinch. She has a good swing. She has been a great secondary setter. If we ever got in a spot this year where Jamie [Sly] has been taken out of play, Lindsey is there ready to take the set up. Her defense has improved immensely from the beginning of the year up until the end."
  "When I know she is in there, I feel confident that she can take care of the situation," she said. "Hitting has been her main strong point. We are just happy that she got to come to Milligan. When she told me she thought about leaving LMU, I was just thrilled. I knew she was the right person to fill that secondary hitter/setter position."
  Most people who know Lindsey or have ever seen her play probably first notice that she seems to always have a smile on her face. Hyatt jokingly noted that they may have been her only weakness on the court in her career.
  "She is so sweet, even when she is on the court," Hyatt said. "I keep telling her to look mean and she always says, 'I can't.' She has really helped me out a whole lot."
  Lindsey plans on graduating with a degree in physical therapy and is hoping to work with pediatrics, but she also said she doesn't plan to leave those hard worked hitting and setting skills in the Steve Lacey Fieldhouse when she graduates.
  "I am sure that I will still play," she said. "I can't give it up. I am sure I will play at least some rec ball or something like that."