The Sixth Sense Hits UTA Volleyball
Nov. 2, 2004
By Sara Gallatin
The two have become synonymous with Maverick volleyball over the past four years. They bring to the court what peanut butter and jelly does to a picnic table, what fireworks and flags to July 4th, what the cast of Friends did to Thursday television for almost a decade -- they bring a calming chemistry that makes everyone around them feel good.
"It's so unreal how well we work together," stated Smith. "I can just look at her and know what she's thinking."
Smith and Dunn have carved their own niche in the UTA records book. Smith currently ranks eighth in career kills (1,319), 11th in digs (1,227) and has the fifth-best hitting percentage all-time at .299. Dunn is the straw that stirs the Mavs' drink at volleyball's quarterback position -- setter. She is just the fifth Maverick to surpass 5,000 assists in a career with 5,185 in 426 games.
"They have always had the ability to know what the other is thinking," said Interim Head Volleyball Coach Diane Seymour said earlier this season. "It has been amazing to me (thier chesmistry). From day one they have had a sixth sense. Dunn knows how to set up Caley after watching the block and Caley knows when to drive on the set. I don't know that I can explain it, it really is a thing of beauty they way they connect with each other." Both players say it's so helpful to know what the other is thinking at all times. With just a look or a nod, the other knows exactly what is coming next.
"I trust Caley more than I trust anyone else," said Dunn. "We've been playing together for so long that I knew where, when and how she wants the ball set to her. We have always been able to find each other the floor and connect. Now, after a point we can just smile and look at each other and think "cool."
As the only two seniors on the squad, their veteran leadership and on-court presence has helped UTA to a 20-4 record with a surrounding cast that includes six true freshmen. Both Smith and Dunn have seen what it takes to become champions as members of the temas that qualified for the 2001 and 2002 NCAA Tournaments.
"Their leadership this season has been big," said Seymour. "They are experienced players who have had a taste of the NCAA tournament. They were disaappointed the way last season went for them and I think they are really on a mission."
"Definately, it is handy to have that experience (of NCAA tournament play)," said Dunn, who is majoring in kinesiology and hopes to coach after the completion of her degree. "As a freshman I was floating on cloud nine and didn't know how difficult it was to get into the tournament. My sophomore year we were suppose to be there and last season was a big disappointment. I really want us to get to the NCAA's, no question."
The Mavericks conclude their home schedule against Nicholls State on Nov. 12 and Southeastern Louisiana on Nov. 13 at Texas Hall.