MOUNT WASHINGTON - When it came time for Bullitt East senior volleyball player Lynsey O’Brien to make a decision on playing at the next level, she opted to keep it in the family - the Bullitt East volleyball family.
This spring, O’Brien got together with former Bullitt East volleyball coach Michelle Gadjik who had coached her for three years in red and gold. The former coach mentioned that her daughter, Brittany, was enjoying her first season of playing at Brescia College in Owensboro.
That led to O’Brien contacting Brescia head coach Traci Smith. After a try-out at the school, O’Brien and Smith worked it out for O’Brien to become a Lady Bearcat. O’Brien recently completed the process with a signing in the school lobby at Bullitt East.
“I looked into it after talking with coach Gadjik,” O’Brien said after the ceremony. “She said that it was working for her daughter. I went for a try-out and I really liked it.”
O’Brien was also looking at Georgetown University, but all the pieces fit with Brescia.
“Brescia was a little cheaper and it was more where I wanted to be,” O’Brien said. “It fit me better than Georgetown.”
O’Brien has never watched Brescia play a match and Smith did not see O’Brien play in a high school match.
She pretty much just said I could start practice in July or August with them. “I’ll just go down and join them.”
The 18-year old daughter of Tim and Stephanie O’Brien was part of the Lady Charger volleyball program for the past four seasons. She also played one year of softball with the Lady Chargers.
O’Brien grew up in Mount Washington and has two siblings, older sister Nichole, 19, and younger brother Troy, 13.
At Brescia, O’Brien hopes to major in Biology with plans of becoming a dental hygienist.
During her senior season under head coach Ed Fisher, O’Brien played outside left hitter for the Lady Chargers.
“I see her being a strong right side hitter for them,” Fisher said after the signing at the school. “She could be a left side hitter which she played for us.
“She has been working out with the team,” the Lady Charger coach added. “With a little work on her defensive passing, she could play all around for them.”
Fisher relied a lot on his senior during his first season at the helm.
“I only had her one year and it was a great pleasure,” the coach said. “She was a leader on and off the court by example. She is very self-motivated. She is just an outstanding individual.”
Brescia, a Catholic school in Owensboro, has only 750 students, making it smaller than her high school.
In recent seasons, the Lady Bearcats have struggled with volleyball. The team lost its first 17 matches last fall before finishing 3-24. They were only 1-7 in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. In the two seasons before that, Smith’s program went 3-21 and 4-20.
Smith is also the softball coach at Brescia.
O’Brien did not start playing volleyball until she entered Bullitt East.
“I guess my junior and senior years I really grew to love the sport,” the senior said. “I didn’t start until my freshman year. I am competitive and that helped. I loved to be a leader and take that on.”
Right now, O’Brien is playing for the Under-18 Louisville Thunder program. It is her second season with that team.
O’Brien has also gotten a big push from boyfriend Anthony Rogers who is homeschooled, but will attend Brescia in the fall and play baseball.
“He came to all of my matches and pushed me,” O’Brien said.
She also got a lot of support from her grandmother, Barbara Wegge.
“I hope to be successful,” O’Brien concluded. “I think Brescia will help me succeed in life. I’ll miss everybody here.”