Sophomore runs up the numbers on the court for women’s volleyball team

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An easy-going person off the court, a player who’s a joy to coach on the court and a brown-eyed killing machine on the right side are all one in the same person.

The 5-foot-10-inch, brunette opposite hitter for the El Camino women’s volleyball team is trying to prove that she and the Warriors are the best team in the state.

Taylor Danielle Brydon was once the No. 203 ranked player in the country and No. 36 in the state of California as a high school senior for the South Torrance High School Spartans in 2014.

The sophomore currently ranks at No. 23 in the state for kills and EC head coach Le Valley Pattison thinks that she’s been a great addition to the Warrior family.

“What a great kid. She’s been great the whole time she’s been here, she has learned how to really work hard, which helps her in the long run,” Pattison said. “She’s leading our offense this year in kills, she hits the ball hard and she’s a work horse.”

It makes sense that Brydon, a 19-year-old kinesiology major at El Camino, is running the numbers up for the Warriors when she gets fed the ball every set and currently has 220 kills to her name on the season and 447 in her career at EC.

She’s been playing since she was in the sixth grade, and although she’s played club and high school volleyball, she never really “loved” the sport.

“After (last) beach season, I don’t know, something clicked,” she said. “I just fell in love and really appreciated the sport. It just brought out a really competitive side in me. I think it was getting to play defense, I’ve never really been good at it.”

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Brydon hopes to play following her time at EC, but isn’t sure what the future has in store for her.

Growing up as a player:

Brydon’s South High School head coach Robert Kutsch said that he could visibly see her getting better each year, but she hadn’t always put in the work needed to get to the next level.

“She was playing at her own pace,” Kutsch said. “(Then she became a senior) and she made a decision. She realized what she needed to do to get to that extra level (and) get better.”

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Her growth shows in her high school stats. As a junior at South she had 160 kills, 29 digs and seven blocks over 86 sets, but as a senior she racked up the numbers and popped off for 242 kills, 114 digs and 26 blocks over 115 sets.

Kutsch remembers losing in the semi-finals or earlier for the past five years and during the 2014 season the team was down 2-1 in sets against the Esperanza High School Aztecs in the CIF 2AA semifinals.

The Spartans rallied to dominate the fourth and fifth set, which was capped off by Brydon’s game-winning kill.

“There’s a picture too, it’s funny,” Brydon said. “After the game all of us were in the huddle and I had the ugliest look on my face, but it was just… An amazing moment.”

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The team would go on to win the CIF Championships on December 6, 2014.

“I’ve never had a player or a teammate of hers that said they didn’t like her,” Kutsch said. “She’s a joy to play with and a joy to coach. With a strong beach season behind her, and (helping me coach) a 16-and-under team, she’s really begun to understand work ethic.”