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FP volleyball Shamion strikes: 25 in a row!

Ready, aim, FIRE! Forest Park’s Libby Shamion winds up one of her jump-serves during FP’s match at North Dickinson Oct. 13.

By Peter Nocerini
CRYSTAL FALLS—For those who routinely follow the Forest Park volleyball team, it’s easy to focus on the (usually lopsided) individual matches and lose sight of what a powerful team the Lady Trojans really are.
    A reminder came last week. Those attending the Oct. 5 home match against Mid Peninsula were treated to a very rare feat: senior Libby Shamion took the ball for the first serve of the first set—and proceeded to fire 25 consecutive winners. Final score: 25-0.
    Forest Park won the next two sets 25-11 and 25-5 to complete another 3-0 match shutout.
    One night later, the Lady Trojans were nearly as dominant at North Dickinson, winning 3-0 on scores of 25-11, 25-10 and 25-10. The team enters this week with a 23-1-3 season record, 8-0 in the Skyline Central Conference.
    Back to Shamion’s first set shutout vs. Mid Pen: At times the Wolverines were able to return her serves, and the Trojans went on to win the point. At other times, her serve was simply too much to handle. Shamion was credited with 12 aces over the entire match.
    “It was fun,” she said later, “but a lot of it has to do with the team: I can’t serve if they don’t back me up on the passes and everything. So it was awesome they could do that, too.”
    What did it feel like as she kept winning points? “Definitely a lot of adrenaline,” she answered. “I just go back there and say, ‘I’m going to put this one in,’ and you just keep saying that until the game is over.
    “It was fun. I’m glad that I got to do it.”
    A senior, Shamion, like several of her teammates, uses a jump serve: She does a short run-up before leaping up, releasing the ball with her left hand and pounding it with her right while still in midair.
    It’s a lot harder to do consistently well than when you serve while stationary. But if done right, it produces a serve that is faster and trickier and much harder to keep in play. On this night, Shamion really had the Wolverines on their heels.
    “It was fun to watch,” said coach Kim Bjork. “We’ve had a few girls on varsity serve 25, but never a jump-server. That
 was one thing that really impressed me.”
    5 … 10 … 15 … 20 … As the score mounted, Bjork remembered getting nervous. “I think it was the 24th point, and then she served the 25th in. After she came off, I asked, ‘Were you nervous?’ She said yeah. I said, ‘I was nervous for you, so I can imagine how nervous you were.’”
    That’s not the end of the story. Mid Pen got the first serve of the second set, but FP immediately won the side-out, and the ball went to Shamion again. She proceeded to serve another 10 consecutive points. That’s 35 points in a row!
    Coach Bjork: “After the 35th one, I told her, ‘Try to place it short.’” Her next serve went into the net. “So that’s my bad she had an error. I’ll take that.
    “It was just impressive to watch,” she added. “Not too many kids will ever do that. Especially with a jump serve—but she’s been working on it for three years now.”
    Individual stats: Libby Shamion, 12 aces, 3 digs; Michaela Steiro, 10 kills; Maria Stankewicz, 21 assists, 4 digs; Hannah Bortolini, 10 digs; Abby Nylund, 5 digs; Becky Showers, 4 digs; Annie Taylor, 4 kills; Amber Lovato, 4 kills, 3 aces; Joselyn Thoreson, 3 kills, 3 digs; Lauren Willman, 3 digs.
    One night later, the Lady Trojans visited North Dickinson, and the offense was humming. “Our passing was good,” said the coach, “and that really allowed us to get great set-ups for our hitters.”
    ND struggled to win points on serve, while the Trojans went on long scoring runs. In the first set, Shamion (four) and Bortolini (nine) led the attack. In the second, Shamion led off with eight, and Joslyn Thoreson later struck for six. The third set had Annie Taylor starting it with four and Shamion ending it with three.
    On the front lines, Steiro and Shamion both had eight kills, and there were plenty of digs: Four different girls were credited with eight apiece.

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