Lauren Boyd has dedicated the past eight years of her life to volleyball and reached the top of her game last month. The Gettysburg senior setter from Severna Park High was named the Centennial Conference Player of the Year and led the Bullets to the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament.
But suddenly there were no more matches to play.
Gettysburg (24-14) had been ousted from the NCAAs by the nation's No. 5 team, Juniata, 3-0, despite Boyd's 26 assists and eight digs. Boyd, 5 feet 7, finished her four-year career at Gettysburg ranked No. 2 on the school's all-time assists list (3,749) and No. 8 on the career digs list (1,051).
Left behind were the many thrills of playing in three NCAA tournaments after four high school seasons that were topped off by two All-Metro first-team selections.
So where will all that talent and experience take Boyd now?
"My ideal is to coach volleyball at Severna Park High," she said Monday during a break from classes. "That would be so much fun and rewarding."
Boyd has prepared for her future as a coach by "directing games from the back" instead of getting caught up in all the flashy kills up front.
"I get a thrill out of other people's kills," Boyd said. "Being a setter fits my personality. I enjoy running a game quietly and seeing how each play develops. Most people don't realize how sophisticated volleyball has become."
Boyd, who led her team this season with 1,295 assists, has seldom been better than in Gettysburg's come-from-behind, 3-2 victory over Frostburg State in the first round of the NCAA tournament (66 assists, seven digs, six kills).
She also will never forget this season's Centennial Conference championship match against Franklin & Marshall when the Bullets faced match point at 15-14 in the fifth game and rallied to win the game and match, 19-17.
Boyd had 59 assists and 20 digs in that match.
While she has enjoyed four outstanding years, Gettysburg teammate Nicole Barr (Broadneck) burst onto the scene as a sophomore this season, being named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association's Division III All-Mid-Atlantic Region team.
Barr, an opposite-side hitter, tied for the team lead in kills (454) and blocks (101) and was second in digs (320).
Smear back on track
Senior Yale basketball guard Maria Smear (St. Mary's) has bounced back strongly this season from a stress fracture that sidelined her most of last season.
Smear, 5-11, is the fourth-leading scorer for the Bulldogs, averaging 8.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists. But her three-point shooting (16 of 31) has grabbed most of the attention in Ivy circles this season, as it did in her freshman and sophomore years.
She was named to the All-Ivy rookie team as a freshman and was a second-team All-Ivy choice as a sophomore.
Bengel a quick hit
Jennifer Bengel (Roland Park) has been an instant success on the basketball court for Gettysburg, leading the team in scoring (14.4-point average) and ranking second in rebounding (9.4 average).
The 5-10 freshman forward has hit 20 of 21 free throws, and had a season-high 20 points two weeks ago in a 74-59 victory over Bridgewater.
Bengel has led Gettysburg to a 4-1 start and a 2-0 record in the Centennial Conference entering tonight's 7 p.m. league matchup at Johns Hopkins.
Also on the Gettysburg team is Kate Greenwood (Fallston), who is a 5-10 sophomore reserve forward.
Big year for Tilley
Junior Meg Tilley (Hammond) has just completed one of those dream-like soccer seasons, scoring 25 goals in 22 games for Grove City (Pa.) and leading the Lady Wolverines (13-7-2) to their first NCAA Division III berth.
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