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FAITH Wilder-Newland had a little trouble putting into words how valuable Faith Myers was to her Columbus East volleyball team this season.
Myers, a senior setter, was a picture of effectiveness all over the court for the Olympians, who won sectional and regional titles and reached the state’s final four in Class 4A. The Memphis recruit is this year’s The Republic Athlete of the Year for Volleyball.
“As a setter, it’s pretty unusual, but she was our third-leading hitter,” Wilder-Newland said. “She was one of our best servers, one of our most effective diggers, and that’s to go with over 900 assists. It’s hard to measure how important that is.”
Myers racked up 971 assists this fall, but that wasn’t the only area in which she led the team. Her .408 hitting percentage, .973 serving percentage and 38 aces were also tops on the squad. She was third on the team with with 180 kills, 42 blocks and 327 digs.
Wilder-Newland started a pair of freshmen in East’s lineup, which was a little challenge for Myers and fellow seniors Carly Robertson and Alexa Husmann-Miller.
“It definitely taught us seniors how to be leaders, having to get them into that varsity role,” Myers said. “Obviously, coming in as a freshman, they had never played at a level like that before, so it was
our job to show them what it was like and show them how we had done it the last couple of years. It was a nice mix.”
“If we had a less-experienced setter setting our freshmen especially, I think we would have been in a lot more trouble than we were,” Wilder-Newland said. “I think it helped having that kind of experience from the seniors to guide the younger kids.”
The Olympians also had to overcome injuries to several players for all or part of the season.
“Especially at the beginning, not knowing what to expect, and then all the injuries, I thought everybody came together,” Myers said. “I was super happy with the way it ended.”
Wilder-Newland knows she’ll miss Myers, who was a four-year varsity player and a three-year starter.
“We have some people in training, but it takes a long time to develop a setter,” Wilder-Newland said. “Kind of like developing a quarterback, there’s so much that they have to know and do and read in a situation that it takes awhile for them to get that good.”
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