A middle hitter makes her mark

Q&A christin anderson, centennial, volleyball

November 30, 2008|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,sandra.mckee@baltsun.com

Centennial volleyball player Christin Anderson, a middle hitter, made her mark in the sport this season, helping to lead her team to its 14th state 3A championship, but she and her coach, Larry Schofield, both say volleyball was not her first love.

"She was a dyed-in-the-wool basketball player," said Schofield. "But she made two giant leaps forward during the offseason while playing club volleyball and attending camps, and she has totally changed. She's now 90 percent a volleyball player and 10 percent basketball."

In five volleyball matches during the playoffs, Anderson led the Eagles in aces and blocked shots with 12 and seven, respectively, and she had 22 kills. As a basketball player last season, she averaged about 12 points a game. She has a 3.4 grade point average.

Did you play volleyball and basketball from the time you were a little girl?

"I had never played volleyball before high school. I'd always been a basketball player. It's what my dad had always played, and it's kind of been in my family, in my genes. But volleyball kind of became my main focus. I kind of accepted that and I really love it now. I love it more than basketball now."

I can see how a coach would look at you and see your height (5-feet-10) and think you'd make a good volleyball player, but why would you decide you really liked volleyball better than basketball?

"It was something that changed in me. When I came on the court for practice, I felt like I wanted to practice. I felt like basketball actually became old to me. I still love it. It's just not the same as it used to be because volleyball has become such a big part of my life. Like right now, I'm going to be having club tryouts for volleyball. I'll be playing two [sports] at the same time this winter. Obviously, that stresses me out, but I've learned to multitask."

You mentioned club volleyball; do you play for a club volleyball team during basketball season?

"Yes. Last year was my first year of club, and it turned out really well. I played for the 17A National team, the Columbia Eclipse. Samantha Brostrom [a Centennial volleyball teammate] will probably love this, but Samantha was actually the one to tell me to start playing club my junior year. When we finished up high school volleyball and trials for club were coming up in a week, she said, 'You have to do it.' She like made me do it. And I'm so happy she made me do it. And I'm so happy my parents let me do it. They were worried about basketball and keeping my grades up, and so I'm just so thankful. It was like the most amazing experience and turned out so great. We went to Nationals."

Did you learn something new during the club season? Your coach told me you took two giant steps during the past year, did they come out of that program?

"The club, playing with those girls and being around volleyball, more definitely helped me out. I don't think I would have had the love for it I have now without that experience. And, it was just those girls, a major group of girls that made me better than I was. It was amazing how they pushed me. I mean I felt like the black sheep on the team because all those girls had been playing together four and five years."

Did you make a part of your game better playing with them?

"Probably my hitting. It probably got a lot better. And last year, I didn't serve at all. I was not a great server. And my coach made me serve. He told me I had to get better serving. And that pushed me. And now, I served this year and it is so much better. In club, I had to serve. My serve wasn't a direct serve. It was a little loopy. I had to work at snapping my hand more and not floating the ball so much."

What was it like winning the state volleyball title?

"It was amazing. I remember completely freaking out when we won. All I wanted for my senior year was to get that state championship. I'm so happy that we had the team, had the talent necessary to get it. We had the talent the year before, but I don't think we applied it in the right ways. I think our two sophomores really helped us out this year, Liz Brown and Amanda Brostrom. They were absolutely amazing.

"It is going to stay in my memory forever. I'm going to go to college next year and probably brag about it. We won the Triple Crown - we won county, regional and state titles. We were undefeated. It was the ultimate season."

Now it's on to basketball?

"I went from states in volleyball on Monday night to basketball practice on Tuesday. I didn't get one day off. A little difficult going through that transition, but I do my best. Molly Speicher, who is our libero for the [volleyball] team, is also our guard for basketball. And she's one of our amazing players for the team."

When you showed up at basketball the next day, did anyone have anything to say about the volleyball championship?

"Oh, yeah. My coach, Robert Slopek, he just was like, 'You need to apply the same mentally to basketball.' ... So I'm going to try to do my best to help us go as far as we can."

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