The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday March 22nd

SportSaturday - Upbeat Fryer Proves Steal For UNC

Duke must be kicking itself.

When North Carolina's Lisa Fryer was a junior in high school, she was all set to attend a volleyball camp at UNC's archival, one of the schools recruiting her.

But when that camp was canceled, Fryer came to one at UNC instead.

She fell in love with the University, and the rest is history.

"We were fortunate," UNC coach Joe Sagula said. "She came in with a lot of energy - something we were looking for at that time."

Fryer, a senior captain, is part of the Tar Heel defense that helped UNC to an ACC championship last year and has carried it to a 17-4 record this year.

She ranks third on the team in both digs per game and total digs with 204.

Fryer's consistent play is one of the aspects of her game that has gained her the confidence of her coach.

"She's gotten better every year she's played," Sagula said. "I couldn't be happier to see how well she's doing. Last year-and-a-half, things have really fallen into place for her."

But consistent play isn't the only thing Fryer, a defensive specialist, brings to the court.

Her teammates describe her as the team mother, the one who goes out of her way to help them.

"I'm just always upbeat," Fryer said. "I'm positive out there. I think that's important."

She played an important role in junior middle hitter Krista Buchholtz's decision to attend UNC. Fryer hails from Washington while Buchholtz comes from Wisconsin, and Fryer understood what moving across the country to North Carolina entailed.

"She said, `You know when you come down here you have 12 sisters right away,'" Buchholtz said Fryer told her during her recruiting trip. "She takes care of us."

As a self-proclaimed people person, that's just a part of Fryer's personality.

In situations where some players might get down on their teammates, Fryer remains up-beat and determined.

"I think it would be cool to play with five people like her," sophomore outside hitter Laura Greene said. She added that the Tar Heels feed off the energy Fryer brings to the court.

Playing collegiate sports was a no-brainer for Fryer. One of her uncles played in the NBA, another was a professional golfer, and the Expos drafted her father out of high school. Naturally, Fryer followed in their footsteps.

But UNC has Duke to thank for Fryer finally ending up at Chapel Hill.

"I cannot even imagine my life without (athletics)," Fryer said. "I was always competitive and always involved. I really like the sports world, and I feel really at home here."


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