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2019 Texas Volleyball

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7 minutes ago, sunset87 said:

They absolutely need to get the timing down on setting Butler.  She can be unstoppable if they can clean that up (high, fast set).  Well, and maybe not so many service errors and better passing and...never mind.

Troof.  She never quite got fully going and Jhenna was generally atrocious at setting the middles, for at least a change of pace.

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UCSB’s Zoe Fleck is on an OV to Texas. She’s a DS. 

She had 5 assists, 14 digs, and 2 aces against Texas. Averaged just over an assist/set, almost 4 digs/set and had 24 aces (2nd on the team). 

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On 1/15/2020 at 6:57 PM, Js1 said:

UCSB’s Zoe Fleck is on an OV to Texas. She’s a DS. 

She had 5 assists, 14 digs, and 2 aces against Texas. Averaged just over an assist/set, almost 4 digs/set and had 24 aces (2nd on the team). 

She committed to UCLA. We will roll with Syd and Iosia I guess 

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From today's AAS.     Best wishes for a full recovery.    First surgery was at the age of 13.    Her instagram has some touching words if someone can embed  (her messasge avail in AAS link) 


Texas freshman middle blocker Asjia O’Neal revealed in an Instagram post on Wednesday night that she had recently had heart surgery for the second time.

O’Neal said the surgery was conducted at the Cleveland Clinic last week. The 20-year-old O’Neal, who had her first open heart surgery seven years ago, wrote that she was “feeling better and doing more each day.”

In her Instagram post, O’Neal shared the videotaped well wishes that she received from NBA superstar LeBron James. O’Neal’s father, Jermaine, played in the NBA for 18 seasons. O’Neal also said she believes that she will be healthy enough to play during the 2020 season.

Like O’Neal, Texas is optimistic that she will be available for this upcoming season. UT coach Jerritt Elliott did say on Thursday that O’Neal will not participate in spring drills.

“It’s something that’s she’s obviously been dealing with since her childhood. I think her parents have done a great job and the university has done a great job of putting the right team around her and getting her to a spot where she’s able to get healthy,” Elliott said. “We wanted to see if she could get back to playing again. Everything shows that she’s in a god spot to return so there should be no concerns there.”




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Hmmmm. If she couldn’t go in the fall for any reason, I’m very comfortable with Bri and Molly manning the middle. Logan and Capri on the outside, Skylar on the right.  

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On 1/20/2020 at 8:42 PM, Lobo said:

When will they announce the Spring Volleyball slate?  

Aggy is coming April 16 - announced by A&M

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Saw our old friend Lexi Sun playing beach at TCU today. She is fucking tiny in person, but looked great. However, she could not possibly have given less of a shit about being out there, her effort was putrid. Nebraska as a whole is fucking awful, lost 10 of 11 sets. 




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Fallen by the wayside but man, probably no 2020 volleyball season. I was extremely excited for this team too. 

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Posted (edited)

04.27.2020 By Asjia O'Neal


The number seven is mentioned in the Bible 860 times.  After creating the heavens and the earth, God rested on the seventh day.  Jesus performed seven miracles before the Sabbath.  Biblically, seven is the number that stands for completion.

This number was the one my whole family had adopted. My dad wore No. 7 as he created his legacy while in the NBA playing for teams like the Indiana Pacers. It also was the number my brother and I had worn on our jerseys. 

So, it only made sense for me to decide to get "7" tattooed on my wrist. 


In August of 2019, I got this number permanently etched into my skin to symbolize the completion of my redshirt year and the commencement of my journey as a collegiate athlete. 

With this new addition to my body, I felt as if nothing was going to get in my way. I was going to have the best year and season of my life. 

However, as we all know, no matter how perfect we think our plans are, His plan is always greater.

Back in 2013, I had my first open-heart surgery. It was my first year living in Texas as well as playing volleyball. After years of dance and acting and a short-lived soccer career, I had found a sport I truly loved. It was new, exciting and perfect for a 12-year-old who was already 5-foot-10. Basketball was never my thing.

After going through my first season of middle school volleyball, one of my teammates told me that I should come to her club team's open gym. Of course, I said yes, and I was introduced to an even higher level of the sport. That’s when I fell in love with Volleyball.  

Fast forward a couple of months later. It was like any other day. My mother, grandmother and I were running errands. I had just done my yearly cardiology check-up. I was born with a heart murmur and a slight leak in my mitral valve, so I was already very familiar with going to the cardiologist.

While we were in HomeGoods, the doctor called explaining my most recent results to my mom. 

The leakage in my mitral valve had gone from mild to severe, and because of that, they recommended open-heart surgery as soon as possible.  

Their plan was to go in, repair the valve and put a ring on it to limit the leakage. When my mom told me the news, all I remember was feeling a massive weight on my chest and the room started spinning. 

Little did I know that day was one that would change my life forever. 

In March 2013, I had my surgery. It was successful. The leakage decreased, and I was on the road to recovery. I ended up missing only six weeks of that club season and was back in action right after.

That was seven years ago.

In May 2019, I had just finished my first spring session at college. It was our last day of workouts, but I had to miss because I had my six-month cardiology check-up. I went to my appointment and got my tests done like I had so many times before. Afterward, my athletic trainer, DeAnn, and I sat in the room waiting for my doctor to come in and give me the same news that I had received for the past seven years. 

This time, the news was different. 

"The leak in your heart has gotten to such a high level that I feel it would be the safest and best option if you just quit volleyball."

The same feeling that I had in HomeGoods seven years earlier was back, but with an even bigger bite. I felt as if I was going to throw up and pass out, all at the same time. I began to sweat tremendously. All I could hear was a sharp, ringing noise.  

My heart broke. 

The next few weeks were filled with various conversations with my family and coaching staff, trying to find another doctor to run more tests. We were referred to the Cleveland Clinic. Their cardiology department was one of the best in the world, so that was where we went. 

I flew to Cleveland and did the same tests, an echocardiogram and EKG. The results came back, and while my numbers were more on the severe side, they said that I was not in danger and could keep playing. 

From that point on, my athletic trainer, DeAnn, as well as our strength and conditioning coach, Donnie, put a high emphasis on making sure that I was monitored whenever I was working out. Our program bought a heart monitoring system and monitor straps not only for me but for the rest of the team as well. Each practice, work out, and game, there was data recorded so that they could look at all of our heart rate levels from any of those given days. 

This gesture of going out and implementing this new system gave me a sense of comfort and showed me how our staff truly cared about me and my well-being.

Fast forward to August 2019. I was starting my first official collegiate volleyball season. After redshirting my freshman year and surviving a career-ending scare, I came into two-a-days with a sense of urgency, excitement and hunger to get out on the court. I went through preseason camp and played through the majority of the season without any issues. I did have my ever-so-often dizzy spells and chest pain, but nothing was long-lasting or significant. I thought I was okay. 

That was until November 9. 

We had just played Oklahoma that Friday, and I drove back home to Dallas with my family after the game. The next morning, my parents called me into their room because they needed to tell me something. 

"Your doctors in Cleveland found some things in your most recent tests, so they want to do them again themselves."

I immediately broke into tears. My parents reassured me that everything was fine. 

I spent the next couple of days in Cleveland. I did an echocardiogram, EKG, cath lab stress test, standard stress test, as well as an x-ray. On my last day there, I sat in the room waiting for my doctors to come in. The two doctors sat down with smiles on their faces. A weight lifted off my shoulders. They greeted us, and slowly the smiles faded from their faces.

"After looking at your tests and confirming the drastic changes that have occurred, we have decided you need to have another surgery."

My heart skipped a few beats, and a knot grew in my throat. 

I reassured myself that if I could get through one, then I could get through two. 

"I can finish my season though, right?"

I asked with hope. Our regular season was almost over, and the NCAA Tournament was approaching quickly. There was no way I was missing this, especially with our team ranked No. 2 in the country. 

"I'm sorry, but it is not safe at all for you to continue to play. If you continue to push your body while it is functioning like this, it could result in life-altering effects."

I lost it. 

Tears poured from my eyes. 

I was angry. 

I was experiencing the feelings from that day in HomeGoods and that first appointment, all wrapped into one. 

All I could feel was anger. I didn't care if I was putting myself at risk. I had already been putting myself at risk! I didn't believe what they were saying. Sure, I had some issues when working out hard, but there was no way I was putting myself in that much danger, right?

I went home later the same day. I was stressed out and unsure of what was to come. For the next few days, my parents spent hours on the phone talking to various doctors. They were getting multiple opinions on whether it was safe for me to play or not. Finally, my surgeon as well as a few other doctors agreed that playing for the last few weeks of the season was not going to put me in any more danger than I had been in and that nothing would change in that amount of time. 

The amount of relief and joy that I felt was indescribable.

I had been stressed out, not knowing if I could play, and all the while having to act like everything was fine and not being able to tell my teammates. Now that was all over.

I finished the season. Even though it didn't end how we all wanted it to, I was proud of myself for just completing it with all that had happened in the past month. 

On January 13, 2020, I flew to Cleveland to have my second open-heart surgery. As usual on the day before the surgery, I met with my surgeon, Dr. Najm. 

Out of all of the doctors I have had throughout those seven years, there was something different about Dr. Najm. He just had this aura about him that radiated positivity. He was a calm man and not overly enthusiastic, but his whole vibe was just so comforting. It was the strangest but most reassuring feeling. 

He told my family and me they were going to switch out the previous ring that had gotten too small on my mitral valve and become too restrictive. There was leakage in the tricuspid valve, too, so they said they would decide if that needed to be fixed once I was in the operating room. 

Out of the whole experience, the one thing that stuck with me the most was Dr. Najm's faith. I had never had a doctor talk to me about religion before, but he told my family that he had so much faith in this surgery going well. He told us that we, too, needed to put our trust in God, and that He would see me through this and heal my body. My surgeon told us that all of this was in God's plan, and I was going to be more than okay. I was going to feel better than I ever had. 

With feelings of comfort, faith and a little bit of anxiousness, I went into surgery.

Dr. Najm was able to replace the old ring on the mitral valve with a bigger and less restrictive one, repaired the tricuspid valve by placing a ring on that as well and did the maze procedure to stop any atrial fibrillation that could happen in the future. 

The surgery was a complete success, and he was pleased with the results. Not only was I going to feel so much better and be able to perform at a much higher level, but he told me I would never have to have another open-heart surgery again.


Now almost three months post-op - I was fully cleared on April 7 - I can see a huge difference. While conditioning, my heart rates are significantly lower and I don't get nearly as tired. I honestly feel like a completely new person. When Dr. Najm said I wouldn't realize how bad I felt until I had the surgery, he wasn't lying.

That number "7" that I got tattooed into my wrist was meant to stand for my family's legacy and the completion of my redshirt year. However, little did I know that it would stand for the conclusion of my seven-year heart story and the rebirth of a new ‘me.’ 

Thank you so much to Dr. Najm and his staff at the Cleveland Clinic for keeping my dream alive. 

See y'all on the court. 


Edited by LTtxfan

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