McDermott’s utility priceless as Lady Demons near season’s end

Every team, no matter the sport, wants a player that can do it all. Someone talented and athletic enough to change positions sometimes at the drop of a hat for the betterment of the team. 

For Northwestern State volleyball, Addison McDermott has been that player. 

During her four years as a Lady Demon, McDermott has played multiple sets, and matches, at nearly every position on the court. She started her career in the middle before moving to the pins as a hitter, into her current role on the back row and even spent time as an emergency setter. 

The only thing she hasn’t done is wear the libero jersey, but would no doubt take on without question should her team need it. 

“I think I would have gotten bored if I wasn’t allowed, capable and asked to do that,” McDermott said with a laugh. “But it really started in high school. I played every position in basketball, ran or jumped or whatever we needed in track and volleyball was you’re the tallest so you’re in the middle, but you also need to play all the way around and pass as well. So, I was used to it but I it was really fun to be able to do a little bit of everything.” 

Just this past week McDermott established new career highs in digs in consecutive matches, the first 20-dig performances of her steady career. Just further proof that the jack-of-all-trades ability is priceless for the Lady Demons. 

The Lady Demons (15-12, 8-8) will need her all-around ability once again as they host UIW (6-20, 5-11) at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in a pivotal match for tournament seeding. It will air on ESPN+ and there is no charge for admission to the match for fans who wish to attend in person. 

She has found her new role as more of a defensive stalwart and high-percentage passer to be best suited for this team at this time, the move also underscores the team-first mentality that is perhaps McDermott’s most coveted attribute. 

“It’s almost like the past few years have all culminated into what my role is on the team right now,” she said. “I don’t need to be a standout player for this team. We have our super solid, incredible offensive and defensive players. I’m just asked to do a little bit of everything, and I can pick up what we need in those moments.” 

She has been picking up moments, kills, points, blocks, digs and everything else from the first match of her freshman year in 2019 where she had three kills, a dig and a block in a sweep of Montana State on opening weekend, to 10 kills with just on error and five blocks in the regular-season finale a year ago, to 21 digs in a critical win for NSU a week ago. 

“She’s been great her entire career,” head coach Sean Kiracofe said. “We have asked a lot of different thing of her and she always jumps in and says, ‘yes I will do that.’ She made a great impact for us during her freshman year in the middle as a change of pace. Then took on a role that we recruited her to do but never had done it full time in club or high school and made a great transition there.  

“When we need her on the right side, she takes everything she knows from the middle to run really fast offense to create different options for us. This season we’ve needed her in the back row. She’s always been great defensively and in serve receive and hasn’t missed a beat there whatsoever and just been phenomenal. She’s good enough that we are able to put her anywhere on the floor and she can do good things for us.” 

With just two matches left in her home gym, McDermott will walk away having lived her dream for the past four seasons playing at Northwestern State. As it always is though, it is the trips to “Café De Mon” while in New Orleans, or the fun shopping trips with teammates in malls across the region that stand out most from her time at NSU. 

And even though the journey on the court has not always been easy, the destination has been well worth the ride. 

“It’s meant everything,” she said. “My dream was to play Division I ball anywhere in any sport and it ended up being volleyball. It’s made me mentally stronger, more resilient, disciplined, increased my work ethic, helped me with time management all of it. All of that translates to what I want to do next in going to physician’s assistant school. It’s all been really fun.” 

Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services