SSBC Senior Athlete’s Of Year: Volleyball

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club every sports season honors Senior Athletes per sport as ‘Senior Athletes of the Year’. For Volleyball, the SSBC honored Salem Academy’s Annabelle Brawley and South Salem’s Laila Leaks.

Here’s the press release:

The Salem Sports and Breakfast Club Senior Athletes of the Year for Volleyball are Annabelle Brawley of Salem Academy and Laila Leaks of South Salem.

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Annabelle Brawley is the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club co-Senior Volleyball Athlete of the Year.

Anna is the libero for the #1 ranked and 2021 state champion Salem Academy Crusaders..

Anna had the highest serve percentage on the #1 team in 2A. With a total of 583 serves, over 96% were in. She aced 77. The highest number of aces for the Crusaders.

Anna’s serve receive was phenomenal. She had 365 serve receive passes that were above a 2 quality on a 0-3 passing scale. Especially impressive when you take into account that the Crusaders had only two matches that went the full compliment of sets.

Annabelle also had a total of 760 digs off rallies, all quality passes that led to strong offense.

Her combined passing total, both receiving and digging, equals 1116!!!

The senior Libero even managed to tack on 18 kills.

Anna earned All-Tournament honors after the Crusaders state championship. She was also first team and player of the year for the Tri-River Conference.

From Coach Melissa Holman, “This girl is the real deal…She goes for everything, adding rips and tears to her jersey and bruises to her body. She does it with a smile. She has the highest volleyball IQ on the team, and more grit than any athlete I’ve worked with. She served as our floor captain and stayed strong and steadfast throughout our entire season, especially at the state tournament.”

Congratulations to Annabelle Brawley from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club.

South Salem’s Laila Leaks preparing to serve in the Saxons Round of 16 match with McNary on October 30, a four-set victory by South Salem (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

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Laila Leaks is the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club co-Senior Volleyball Athlete of the Year.

From Coach Matt Leichty, “Laila does so many things for us as player and a leader in our program. She is clearly an outstanding player and setter, as her performance, statistics, and awards all attest, but she is so much more than that. All season she has led not just with the way she plays and performs on the court, but by the way she calmly directs traffic for us. As our setter, she is responsible for running our offense, making decisions, and getting the ball to the right people at the right times, and she has consistently stepped in and exceeded whatever expectations we have. Her knowledge of the game and control of the situation has been huge in helping our team be able to play through adversity and find ways to win. Through it all, no matter how much pressure or stress she or the team is under, she always has a smile to help get us back on track. She has been an exceptional athlete, teammate, student, and person, and it has been a privilege to see her grow and develop during her 4 years at South.”

Congratulations to Laila Leaks from the Salem Sports and Breakfast Club.

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