It’s difficult looking beyond volleyballs most enticing play: the kill.
The sound of the volleyball hitting the ground and the ensuing cheers drown out the play before it.
Hardly anyone remembers the set.
That’s even more true at Sehome, with the Mariners rostering some of the most vicious hitters in the Northwest Conference the past few seasons in 2013 All-Whatcom County Player of the Year Taylor Lyall and first-teamer Dani Johnson. But setting up their success has always been a constant in now-senior Megan Greer.
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Greer isn’t the physical specimen similar to that of Lyall, a freshman on Western Washington University’s nationally ranked volleyball team, or Johnson, an early contender for player of the year honors herself. At 5-foot-4, Greer has become the linchpin of Sehome’s offense, looking to lead the Mariners to their fourth state berth in as many years.
“I’m trying to keep the tradition of Sehome volleyball alive,” Greer said in a phone interview.
Sehome finished fourth last year after defeating Yakima East Valley and Tumwater in the first two rounds before running into Capitol in the semifinals. The Mariners open their season against Squalicum at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 9, at Sehome, taking on a Storm team that finished eighth at state last year.
At the heart of any good setter is consistency. Without it, Sehome coach Kristy White said, there is no rhythm or balance – no way for outside and middle hitters to hit with confidence. Greer, who’s been playing the position since she first began playing volleyball seven years ago, prides herself on the relationships she’s built with her hitters.
They have trust in her – trust in her passes and confidence in her decision-making.
“When you’re playing a quick game like volleyball, hitters are already playing defense, trying to get off and hoping that the set is going to be at the same spot every time,” White said in a phone interview. “If it is, we can hit everywhere really hard. If it’s not consistent, then we’re guessing and the other team has the advantage.”
Greer’s job entails more than just a steady pass to talented hitters. In a split second, through repetition, the senior has become one of the best in the NWC in reading opposing defenses and attacking whichever option unveils itself.
Having a seasoned player who can dissect defenses quickly is what helped construct three consecutive trips to the state tournament for Sehome, coming within one game of winning the NWC regular-season title last year behind perennial power and the eventual state champions Burlington-Edison.
“She’s like a quarterback. You have to be able to get your girls to win for you,” White said, “get your girls to play for you. She’s made leaps and bounds.”
Sehome doesn’t have one captain, but several shouldering the burden to continue the “tradition” Greer spoke of.
It’s a position, though, that she’s been preparing herself for some time now, she said, welcoming the challenge of making good on a goal she set four years ago: to make it to state every year at Sehome.
Three years have gone as planned, the fourth being her final hurdle.
“I’m just excited and I believe in our team,” Greer said. “We lost some key people, but we can’t underestimate ourselves. We have such strong players.”