Arrington Shift to Outside Hitter A Smooth One
With no outside hitters returning from last year's team, Christian Dunn knew he would have to find someone to fill those shoes.
Step in Jackie Arrington.
The senior played middle and right side for Pearland last season as a junior and by season's end finished as the team leader in kills with 231.
Now, in 2019 she will be leaned on again to lead the Oilers in that category but just from the outside hitter position.
"I needed somebody who could touch 10 foot or better and provide some high-powered offense," Dunn said after a 3-0 win against Kingwood Park to open the season. "She's got a way to go but if this is where we're going to start, I can only imagine what the ceiling is once we get reps in and game experience.
"I think it's going to be a great year for her."
Arrington showed off her power on the outside throughout the match. Blasting balls through double-block attempts and finding gaps on the court for points.
The University of Incarnate Word commit finished with nine kills, one block and two digs in her first match playing on the outside.
"That's the beautiful part about hitting on the outside, if you can jump and have some control, we can get you to where you need to be," Dunn said. "She's a very explosive player. She can go fast but she can also slow it down, go a little higher and have her touch that ball at a higher clip, I feel like she can do both."
Arrington put in the work this summer to be ready for this moment.
"Every week I was practicing," Arrington said. "I was either at club or a camp. I was playing outside, getting serve-receive in, getting info from all this different coach just seeing what I could perfect and get better at.
"There were [challenges] because I had played a lot middle. So, then I got a lot of serve-receive balls in, so I'm working on a lot of back row. Of course, it's a different place of hitting, so I'm getting a lot of reps trying to swing line, just trying to hit all over the place, doing different angles and different shots."
Dunn has seen the work she has put in and recognizes her efforts to make this her position not just for her senior year at Pearland.
"She's all about it. She wants this to be her position," Dunn said. "She wants to play this position at the next level. She's been very studious in the offseason about it."
Of course, Tuesday's road trip to Kingwood Park was just the first of many matches for Arrington at the outside hitter position and the senior knows she will need to continue to improve.
"Probably high hands on the ball," Arrington mentioned about what she can get better at. "Because I know when I'm in the middle I'm going so fast, so then I could over run the ball sometimes. So, I just have to get my shots ready and a lot more line."