No Sophomore Slump For Lindow

By Laura Witherspoon

University of Colorado volleyball blocker Nikki Lindow had an impressive freshman year with a total of 187 kills and 72 blocks. This year, the sophomore is ready to take the Pac-12 by storm.

Although the Buffs lost their debut match to Utah Sept. 13, Lindow had a solid performance.

While Lindow recognizes that Colorado's upcoming matches are against Cal and Stanford, two of the Pac-12's finest, she is preparing for them as if there are any other team.

"Mentally, I am preparing for Cal and Stanford as just the next games. I know they are both highly ranked and we are going into it as the underdog but I'm excited to play upper-level teams," Lindow says.

Her positive attitude is not the only asset Lindow brings to the Buffs. She has confidence in her team that they will push back and put up a strong fight against Pac-12 big hitters. Physically, Lindow is hoping to come out with powerful blocks and a high hitting percentage. This season has already started off well for Lindow, as she has already notched 77 kills and 93 points. As the season progresses, she knows exactly what to do to continue on a path to success.

"I try to memorize what my assignments are and what my blocking system is," she says. "By rehearsing that in my head after every play and every point, it all comes together for me and so far this method is working for me."

After ending after last season with four stress fractures to her tibia bone, Lindow did not get to the opportunity to participate in spring or summer volleyball.

"I didn't get to work out much during the summer so I had to work that much harder to focus on becoming a major threat," says Lindow.  

Not only is Lindow a dominant middle blocker, but also adapted to become a right side blocker.

"The right side I feel is heaven for me. I don't have to travel far to block the outside hitter and I'm great on one foot," says Lindow.

What may come as a surprise is that Lindow has only been playing volleyball for four years. She is not only a versatile volleyball player but was also recruited to play basketball. The one difference volleyball provides that basketball lacks for Lindow is an adrenaline rush. Lindow finds that same adrenaline rush through riding in rodeos.

Growing up on a ranch in Erie, Colo., gave Lindow a one-of-a-kind experience riding in rodeos since the age of eight.  Her main event was barrel racing and she says that it's her biggest hobby.

"Rodeo riding is what I would be doing if I wasn't playing volleyball," she says.

In 2001, Lindow won an award from the National Barrel Horse Association for 2D barrel racing. Rodeo riding provided a platform for Lindow to learn discipline and commitment, and to experience excitement.

"The adrenaline rush of riding that fast and turning that hard on a horse is just addicting," Lindow says.

Just as Lindow finds her power from the adrenaline of the game, she also hopes it is something her team can use to its advantage during the season. As the Buffs continue to play some tough teams, Lindow wants to surprise the Pac-12 and show how great of a team the University of Colorado Buffs are.