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Sam Corby leads the Hamilton County volleyball team with her enthusiasm, energy and effort.

JASPER — Vocal, energetic and playing at full speed throughout matches, Sam Corby has found her spot on the volleyball court for Hamilton County.

HCHS coach Katie Ginn and Corby agree that the libero position is a fitting spot for the junior.

“It’s where I can be everywhere on the court, except the front row of course, that’s not my spot,” Corby said. “It’s where I can push the hardest, and keep the team spirit up the most.”

Ginn agrees.

“Sam typically motivates the team,” she said. “She’s really good at keeping her own spirits up, which tends to help the team stay up.”

And if the team doesn’t stay positive, “attitudes start flying, and we tend to shut down. Which was our main problem in the second set (against Branford),” Ginn said.

The Buccaneers topped Hamilton County 3-0 (25-18, 25-6, 25-19) on Sept. 16.

Despite the loss to Branford, the fiery Corby played her usual game in encouraging teammates, calling balls and robustly cheering when points were won. She even put a scare into the team’s statisticians on one play while chasing a ball heading to the bleachers, and chased down another shot to about eight feet behind the back line.

Branford got off to a slow start, and Corby got a lot on nice digs and an ace in the first set, though two of her digs on tough Branford shots hit a speaker attached to the ceiling and were ruled out.

For the Trojans, Pedja Cooks got five serve points, Corby had three assists and Skylight Gaskins got two blocks.

“I run the defense, which means the back row, and I’m told to remember everyone’s position so that if someone gets confused in the game, I’ll tell them where their spot is. I keep track of all the rotations,” Corby said.

Though it’s been a tough season so far, Corby, a junior, is excited about next year because Cooks, a fellow junior and middle blocker, is returning.

“It’s going to be our best year because we’ve been playing together for years, and we’ve moved up together,” Corby added. “People have been telling me we work like a well-oiled machine together.”

Volleyball is her passion, but an outside interest of Corby’s is rollerblading. Corby normally goes from bleacher to bleacher, wall to wall, chasing down shots.

Picturing Corby on the court with rollerblades is a scary thought, she might be unstoppable.

Branford, ranked No. 3 in Class 1A according to MaxPreps, kept on its winning ways in sweeping Fort White on Sept. 17 (25-18, 25-16, 25-5) before running into top-ranked Bell on Thursday. The Bucs fell 3-0 (17-25, 22-25, 16-25).

Jeff Shourds is a sports writer for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press.

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