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All-County Volleyball

Broadwater turned into the leader for Wildcats

Broadwater turned into the leader for Wildcats

December 13, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Cayla Broadwater's immense athletic talent was always obvious.

But there's a difference between being a great athlete and being a great volleyball player. And in 2008, Williamsport's senior middle hitter took another step toward becoming a great volleyball player.

"She didn't start volleyball until eighth grade. She had a late start compared to her teammates," Wildcats coach Emily Crabtree said. "It was a matter of learning the game and absorbing everything the coaches were telling her, but she really took off playing club ball last summer in Chambersburg.

"She definitely stepped it up this year and proved that she can lead. She put us on our back and tried to carry us, and we did get farther than a lot of people thought we would. ... It was a confidence thing, too. She didn't think she was as good as she was. She was modest and let everybody else do their thing. This year, she realized she has something to offer and she stepped up and took a bigger role."

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In leading Williamsport to a share of the MVAL Antietam title, Broadwater averaged 4.20 kills and 1.53 blocks per game -- topping Washington County in both categories.

Broadwater is The Herald-Mail's 2008 All-Washington County Volleyball Player of the Year.

"I just had fun with it more than anything," Broadwater said of her senior season and all the responsibilities that came with it. "The key was to relax and have fun. That counted a lot. Taking that leadership, I really took that as a challenge. I wanted to be a great leader for those girls. It's not just about showing people by example and how you play when the pressure is on, but also encouraging them, because that's what they needed."

Broadwater was at her best in the final match of her high school career. Facing a Poolesville team that was undefated and had not dropped a single game all season, Broadwater had 22 kills and 10 blocks in a four-game loss in the Class 1A West semifinals. Poolesville went on to win the state title, and the game the Wildcats won was the only one the Falcons lost.

"(Poolesville) was definitely the best team I've seen in my 12 years coaching," Crabtree said. "She played the match of her life, that's for sure. ... I'm going to miss her. Those players don't come along real often, and she's a good kid with a big heart."

The next chapter in Broadwater's volleyball career will come at the University of Connecticut, where she will play on a full scholarship.

"I'm super excited for it," Broadwater said.

Joining Broadwater on the All-County First Team are:

Taylor Belella
Smithsburg's sophomore setter averaged 6.93 assists and 0.73 aces per game and made the MVAL Antietam first team.

Danielle DuBois
Broadfording's junior defensive specialist averaged a county-best 6.43 digs and 0.83 aces per game and earned MVP honors for the Mason Dixon Christian Conference, the Maryland Christian State Tournament and the McConnellsburg Tournament.

Amanda Jenkins
Clear Spring's senior outside hitter averaged 3.76 kills and 3.47 digs per game and earned MVAL Antietam first-team honors.

Brittany Malott
Williamsport's senior outside hitter averaged 2.12 kills, 0.62 blocks and 4.30 digs to make the MVAL Antietam first team.

Rebecca Pearl
South Hagerstown's junior middle hitter averaged 2.58 kills and 0.94 blocks per game and made the MVAL Piedmont first team while helping the Rebels win the Piedmont title.

Emily Pinkham
Clear Spring's senior middle hitter averaged 2.95 kills, 0.77 blocks, 1.36 digs and 1.16 aces, earning MVAL Antietam first-team honors.

Sara Rishell
Smithsburg's sophomore middle hitter averaged 3.50 kills and 1.25 blocks per game and made the MVAL Antietam first team.

Loganne Smith
Williamsport's junior setter averaged 6.29 assists and 0.72 aces and was selected to the MVAL Antietam second team.

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