Senior begins last season for Lions

Senior Lexie Bradley spikes the ball against Shorter Oct. 22, 2016. “Strong-willed and driven but each year she has gotten stronger and more independent while being such a huge team player for us,” said coach Stephanie Radecki.

Local native Lexie Bradley is ready for her last year with North Alabama volleyball.  

For as long as she can remember, Bradley said she had a volleyball in her hands. Bradley said her love for the sport originated from her mother.  

“My mother has always been a volleyball coach, so as a toddler I would always be hanging around the gym during her practices,” Bradley said. “The older I got, the more I loved the game.”

The Wilson High School alumna is currently majoring in Elementary/Collaborative Education.

Bradley is entering her senior year playing at UNA. Between freshman and sophomore year, she toggled between the positions of outside and middle hitter.  

“Lexie always surprises me,” said volleyball head coach Stephanie Radecki said. “She keeps evolving as a person and a player. I see something new in Lexie all the time that I haven’t seen before.”  

Bradley’s journey at UNA has not been without its obstacles. A few months before she was to report for her freshman season of volleyball, Bradley underwent knee surgery that bothered Bradley her entire freshman year.

“The recovery took a lot longer than expected,” Bradley said. “So, my whole first year of college I wasn’t 100 percent.”

While at UNA, Bradley has accomplished many things both academically and on the court. Athletically she has made All Gulf South Conference, All Region and All-American Honorable Mention.  

She got to play in Brazil this summer on a DII International Volleyball Tour during the summer to add to her resume, Bradley said.  

Bradley said she realizes many look forward to moving away to college, but she could not be happier with attending a college in her hometown and following in her mother’s footsteps as a volleyball player at UNA.  

Bradley said she loves the fact her family can come and watch her play all the time.

“I looked at different schools before coming to UNA, but I am so happy I decided to come here,” Bradley said. “I have made so many wonderful memories and met my best friends here. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else.”  

Academically, Bradley is part of the Honor’s Program and has kept up a 3.9 GPA.

“Lexie has always been mature,” Radecki said. “Strong-willed and driven but each year she has gotten stronger and more independent while being such a huge team player for us.”   

While Bradley spends most of her time on the court during the season, people can usually find her outdoors during the off-season.  

Besides volleyball, Bradley also likes hiking, traveling to new places, snow skiing, water skiing and rock climbing. Bradley said she would like to get more into those once she finishes volleyball with the Lions.  

After Bradley graduates in May, she plans to teach special education at an elementary school while getting her master’s degree.

Bradley and the Lions will play their first home game in Flowers Hall Sept. 12 against Alcorn State.