Volleyball: The Spike

This season the women’s volleyball team went undefeated in conference regular season play — a first for the program. And the season earned Denison the right to host the NCAC Championship on our home court. Though the DU women lost in the semifinals — a real heartbreak, says player Lucy Anderson ’23 — they took a lot of Denison pride out of a killer season and all those firsts. Success comes with points, and Anderson, a 6-foot-2 middle hitter, had plenty. We asked her to walk us through the perfect spike.

Lucy Anderson ’23

Knowing Your Place

We have basically three main roles in volleyball. We have passers or defensive specialists. Then we have setters who set the ball. And then we have the hitters — right, middle, and outside. I’m rather tall, with long arms, so I’m a middle hitter. Our advantage in the middle is speed. We will actually start our approach before our setter has even set the ball.

Eye on the Prize

I definitely want a set that’s high enough, but also fast enough — it has to be fast enough so we can try and beat the blocks on the other side.

Step By Step

We normally have a three-step approach. My first step will be my left foot, 10 feet off the net. That’s going to be my largest step. Then our setter sets the ball. Our starting setter, Kirby McKinnon [’24], and I spend a good amount of time and practice working on our connection — because it’s all about timing. Then I take a really quick right and left step. So, it’s left, right, left — swing and drop the ball.

Taking the Shot

I basically have two main shots I can take. A shot with my right hand up — thumb down — shoots to the right. Another shot could come across my body to push it to the left. It’s uncommon to go for the middle because there’s almost always a block waiting. When we hit the shot, I turn to Kirby and let her know that she set the ball just right. It’s always fun to land the shot.

Published February 2022