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Volleyball notes - Spotting the hero is not obvious

October 21, 2005|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

There are unknown heroes on every team whose contributions are not always spectacular or obvious enough to make headlines. Still, their efforts are crucial to attaining victory.

In a sport dominated by big hitters - where a hard spike straight to the floor or a well-timed block of said spike attempt earns the loudest oohs and aahs - the underlying and often unappreciated truth is that a team can't win without someone rolling up the sleeves, hitting the floor and making the digs and the passes necessary to get the attack rolling.

For No. 3 Boonsboro on Thursday night, the unknown heroes were Kim Snavely and Alyssa Lum.

The Warriors' journey from MVAL cellar-dwellers (back before the league was expanded to three conferences) to Antietam Conference queens started two years ago, largely because a group of talented sophomores knew that in order to win, they had to keep the other team from scoring.

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Now seniors, Snavely and Lum are still giving headaches to all opposing attackers, covering so much space that it's next to impossible to get a clean kill against them. Snavely had 32 digs and Lum added 14 in Thursday night's win over Williamsport. Kasi Harris had 16 digs and Jessica Ambrose 13, but with both having a greater role in the attack, neither of them are unknowns.

"Both Kim and Alyssa played a heck of a game for us," Warriors coach Christy Faller said. "They were able to get some balls up that (Williamsport) may not have thought could be played. We were working all week on defense in preparation for them."

Of course, it's not a requirement that one must be a defense-first player to meet the unknown-hero criteria.

The Wildcats' attack is led by Sammi Snodderly, Lacie Johnson and Emily Malott - all of them known through MVAL Antietam circles.

But on Thursday, Jessica Bennett - better known for her softball exploits last spring - had eight kills and proved to be a formidable weapon.

"Jess has been coming on," Wildcats coach Emily Crabtree said. "She's a junior, and the experience she's been getting is giving her confidence. She's not afraid to step up, make plays and do what she has to do. Snodderly, Johnson, Melott, (teams) know what they can do. Jess gives us another option."

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