Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

October 31, 2013

Schnakenberg emerges as star at middle hitter for red-hot volleyball team

Schnakenberg emerges as star for red-hot volleyball team

(Continued)

But Schnakenberg and her mother were on the move again last summer, when they moved from Virginia to Andover. After playing varsity volleyball as a sophomore at her old high school (Potomac Falls), she knew she would try out for the Andover High squad.

“I walked in the first day and I didn’t know anyone,” she said. “I didn’t know who to talk to or eat lunch with. It is tough to move around. I moved three times in one year around Utah when I was a kid. But you have to put yourself out there.

“Volleyball ended up being great because the girls really embraced me, so by the time the school year started I had friends. It made everything so much easier”

Schnakenberg both made the varsity squad and earned a starting spot as right-side hitter for the team that finished 23-1 and advanced to the Division 1 state semifinals. She finished third on the team in blocks (69) and added 46 kills.

So she knew a great deal would be expected of her this season as a senior, when she moved into the middle hitter role previously played by 2012 MVC Division 1 Player of the Year Liz Wait.

“I think I was even more nervous because now I had expectations,” she said with a laugh. “We lost nine seniors from last year’s team, and seven of them were starters so we knew it was going to be a different season. But once we lost the first game we kind of said, ‘It’s over with, let’s start playing.’”

Since that point, the Golden Warriors have been simply dominant. Of their 19 straight wins, all but one have come as 3-0 sweeps. The only match they dropped a set was to Haverhill on Sept. 17, and Andover won 3-1.

And Schnakenberg has been right at the center of that success.

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