The Harrisburg volleyball team has taken to the court 18 times this season, and emerged winners in 16 matches.
Success in the Tigers’ case is a byproduct of talent up-and-down the lineup, but no player has played a more crucial role in the team’s rise than junior Samantha Slaughter. After posting 22 kills and five blocks against No. 2 Brandon Valley on Tuesday, Slaughter distanced herself as this week’s Sanford Standout.
“Sami’s been a starter for us for three years,” said coach Ronette Costain, “and each year she’s come back bigger, stronger and more versatile at the net. This year she’s added an element on the back line and has been piling up the aces.”
At 6-foot-1, Slaughter has uncommon length to go with excellent athleticism. The combination has made her a force at the net. Slaughter leads the Tigers with 256 kills, earning an average of 3.5 per set. Her 98 blocks (5.4 per match) are also a team-best and she’s tied for the team lead in serving aces, with 29.
“She takes the pressure off the other girls so that they can just do what they do well,” Costain said. “Sami doesn’t talk the talk, she just walks it. She just plays volleyball. Our younger girls see what she’s capable of and they want to be a part of it.”
ABOUT SAMANTHA SLAUGHTER
Position: Middle blocker/outside hitter
• Leads the Tigers in kills (256), blocks (98) and is tied for team-high with 29 serving aces
• Three-year starter has helped catapult Harrisburg to No. 1 ranking in Class AA