Buccaneer Spotlight - Emily LibertowskiOctober 31, 2010
By Joe Carmany, CSU Sports Information
The Charleston Southern volleyball team has seen a resurgence in the past few seasons, thanks to a strong team work ethic and a group of players driven to succeed. Emily Libertowski has worked hard at all phases of the game, becoming a valuable player on the team. She has proven to be a diamond in the rough, which is fitting, as she also plans to enter the jewelry business.
Libertowski played a key role in one of the biggest wins in recent program history, Nov. 19, 2009 vs. Winthrop in the Big South Quarterfinals. She toed the service line with the score tied at 14, and CSU earned the next point to set up a match point chance.
Leading 15-14 in set five against Winthrop, Libertowski served up an ace to clinch CSU’s first Big South Semifinal appearance since 1990.
Libertowski said, “I know my dad was there, and I saw him, and I looked at him, and he encouraged me to go for it. So, I jump-served, and I said ‘I’m going to go all out, because what do I have to lose? Nothing.’ I just went all out, and served it and I aced her, and I felt so good.”
Coach Danyel Bellush said, “I was so proud of her for going for it. She just said, ‘I’m going for it.’ This is the Big South Championship. And she went for it and aced her. It was such a tight game, and it was a really good match. You can’t teach that kind of confidence. She’s a go-getter.”
At times in Libertowski’s career, she has excelled on the attack, on defense and serving. She has posted 100 or more kills and 250+ digs in each of the past two seasons, and has been a key weapon in serving. She is nearing the top 10 in program history in aces and digs. Libertowski has competed in more than 385 sets over her career.
“With the outside, I’m a lot smaller than most people. I know I’m smaller, but I love it because I have to work so much harder,” Libertowksi said. “In the back row, serving, I always try to hit that jump serve. I try to kind of intimidate the other team, and it goes really well sometimes.”
Her versatility on the court is also reflected in her career aspirations, where she will look for real diamonds in the rough. Libertowski plans to take over the family business one day. Her family owns and operates a jewelry business.
“Back home, we have a family business. My mom and her six brothers and sisters manage and own it,” Libertowski said. “My grandfather actually started it, and after he passed away when my mom was 15, the kids and my grandma were kind of struggling and ended up making things work. They just had to work to support the family. So now me and my cousins are kind of stepping in, in hopes that I can take over.”
Emily has worked at her family’s jewelry business over the past several years, and has taken a prominent role lately. She feels that her studies as a communications major have helped her when dealing with customers on the sales floor.
Following graduation, Libertowski plans to take courses in gemology in order to earn GIA certification, qualifying her to take over the business in the future.
“I have to get certified . . . to be able to grade diamonds and be able to deal with other companies, to provide a stock for our store and see what we need. There’s a gemology school. There are quite a few across the country. I think I’m going to take my courses online, so I can get right into working.”
Coach Bellush said, “She always gives me her absolute best effort. That’s all you can ask for as a coach. She’s developed over the years, earning the respect of her teammates. She has done that, because everybody counts on her now to be there wherever we put her; whether it’s front row, back row, or to serve. She’s the diamond in the rough, basically. Emily’s a quality player.”