She sets, and Severna Park goes about its way Volleyball: Lauren Boyd's coach knew when she was a freshman he had a star in the making. As a senior, she's the team leader and living up to those expectations.

October 08, 1998|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

When Severna Park senior standout Lauren Boyd was a sophomore playing her first season of varsity, that she ended up playing every position on the floor was no surprise. It was more by design.

"I wanted her familiar with everything we do, knowing what everyone's role was," said Falcons coach Tim Dunbar.

The top-ranked Falcons have a tradition of fine setters. Dunbar ,, knew he had another one in Boyd, who took over the setting chores last season and promptly earned first-team All-Metro honors.

"My sophomore year was so important, learning to work with coach Dunbar and just getting the court sense I needed," said Boyd. "I got an understanding of how important defense was and how important passing was.

"Now, when I'm setting and get a bad pass, I've been there and know how it happens. Experiencing the other parts improved my game as a setter."

After playing softball and ballet-dancing when she was younger, Boyd's first taste of volleyball came in the eighth grade, when her mother suggested she try a camp. Shortly afterward, Dunbar knew he had something special in a freshman who always asked questions, took notes and worked overtime to polish her newfound skills.

"The first day she walked in as a freshman, I took one look at her and knew she was going to be great," said Dunbar. "Her skill development was immediate. You could tell this was not just a kid you would keep around and she would one day become a varsity player.

"I knew she was going to be a star. She built a great foundation as a freshman and was ready to go as a varsity player as a sophomore on teams that were winning county and region championships."

Boyd has built bigger foundations.

The past three summers, she has worked with her church's youth group in a program called Woodswork, building homes for the needy. The annual week's worth of work has taken her to North Carolina, Vermont and Massachusetts, giving her chances meet people and learn more about her faith.

"It's unbelievable. Five days, 10 hours each day -- and it's exhausting. Then you see the house there and it's awesome," she said.

Said Dunbar: "Everything Lauren attacks, she attacks completely and fully, whether it be academics, athletically or socially. She's very intense, very motivated, and very dedicated at being the best she can be."

That approach to life has helped Boyd, an honor roll student and National Honor Society treasurer, earn her teammates' respect and the role of co-captain this season. She's off to an All-Metro-caliber start with the Falcons 6-1 on the year.

She's first on the team in assists (156, 7.4 per game), service aces (35) and is second in serve percentage (.947), but those are not the numbers most important to her.

A banner on the wall in the Severna Park gym has the years -- 1991-92-93 -- of the Falcons' three state titles.

"This year, we hope to add some numbers to that banner," said Boyd.

Last fall, the Falcons won the Class 4A East region championship but fell to Montgomery County's Watkins Mill in a state semifinal.

Boyd and five other seniors this fall were on that team, but adjustments were required because of the departure of County Player of the Year Julie Gosewisch. Instead of one primary hitter, the Falcons have four hitters this season with 28 or more kills.

Boyd is making more decisions and opponents now wonder wherethe next hit will come from. Boyd has thrived on keeping everyone involved and finding the hot hitter on a game-to-game basis.

"Lauren does everything for us. She's the motivating force for the whole team," said senior co-captain and outside hitter Tracy Johnston. "She's just a smart setter. She knows who's on and who's not, knows all our options and uses them wisely. You really depend a lot on your setter. I know she's always going to get the ball right there, and it makes things run a lot smoother."

Back to that banner.

Boyd, who is looking at a number of colleges with plans of studying business, remembers how she felt following last year's learning experience against Watkins Mill.

"None of us had ever experienced going that far in the playoffs," she said. "We didn't know what it takes. I had the worst feeling on the bus home, knowing it was the end. We're determined not to have that feeling again."

Pub Date: 10/08/98

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