In an empty Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium during the summer, Seymour’s Chandler Clark would practice setting on her own, determined to reach her full potential as a volleyball player.
On the floor, she commanded the offense like a floor general — deciding who got the ball when and where during rallies with pristine accuracy.
Whenever the team turned to a player for advice, she was there to direct her teammates.
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With strong leadership, and a skill-set to match, Clark proved one of the strongest setters in Southern Indiana in 2015.
The four-year varsity starter finished the season with 471 assists, fourth-most in the Hoosier Hills Conference, 200 digs and 109 kills on the court.
Last week, Clark signed her letter of intent to play at NCAA Division I Morehead State University.
A unanimous vote from the coaches in Jackson County, Clark is The Tribune’s 2015 volleyball player of the year.
Rocky start, strong fin
ishThe season proved a slow start for Clark, as she sat out for 10 days when she hurt her ankle during a match with Floyd Central on Sept. 1.While she wasn’t on the floor, Clark still took the matches in from the bench.
“I think being around the game for a long time, I see things even when I’m not playing,” Clark said. “As I’ve grown, I’ve been able to pick up things off the court that I can take when I step back in. I think that was good for me when I was out.”
Owls coach Holly Birdsong said that Clark provided assistance to the coaching staff by helping on the sidelines.
“When she was out for her ankle injury for a little while, that was hard for us,” Birdsong said. “We had a setter that was able to come in and work for us, but Chandler still worked off the court for us. She helped other players get better and when she came back she was able to pick up where she left off.”
Clark returned to action at the Jeffersonville Tournament, helping the Owls pick up wins over Forest Park and Clarksville to move to 6-8 on the season.
“Chandler is just a great leader on and off the court,” Birdsong said. “She has a great way of working with her teammates. They understand what she’s saying and know what needs to get done when she speaks to them.”
With Clark on the floor the rest of the way, the Owls finished 21-13 which included second place at the Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament.
Birdsong said that Clark always took the initiative to make her team better.
“(Clark) would do anything you asked her without questioning it,” She said. “She knows what needs to get done. If you tell her how to do something better she will do her best to achieve it. She was the one always asking for more things do in and out of season.”
In 2014, Clark verbally committed to playing at Morehead State.While Clark visited a number of college, she said that Morehead felt like a perfect fit.“I visited there and really enjoyed the atmosphere, the town and coaches,” Clark said. “I fell in love with the girls on the team, and when I first went there I knew that’s where I wanted to go. I visited some other places, but didn’t have that gut feeling. I committed as soon as I could.”
As of Saturday, the Eagles are 10-20 overall with a 7-9 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference.
The Eagles will start play in the OVC tournament Thursday.
“I think, the way they play together is a strength,” Clark said. “None of it is too selfish — the way they play. I think I will fit in well with that. I think it makes them a good team on and off the court and I will enjoy being there.”
Clark will join a young roster at Morehead, which features six upperclassmen and nine underclassmen currently on their team.
“I think at Morehead, with the experience she has, she will have an opportunity to play,” Birdsong said. “She will have some good leaders to look up and be able to take over running their offense after that.”
During her career in Seymour, Clark played under three different coaches at the high school.
The senior attributed her current skill-set from the things she’s learned from all her coaches.
“I think the pace of my games, as an individual, increased,” Clark said. “I think it’s important going into college, becoming stronger and faster. It all helps. I’ve grown so much in four years. When it’s a face-paced game, like we played, being smart and competitive has become a big part of how I play.
“The (coaches) were all different, and I learned different things from each of them. I think playing with different girls (at Seymour) each year was helpful to my game. I was able to pick things up from them. I think that it was very valuable to see different perspectives through my four years.”
This past week, Clark made the prestigious 18 red Kiva travel volleyball team.
The team will travel across the country, including a stop in Salt Lake City, for the next few months.
2015 Volleyball Player of the Year
Chandler Clark // Seymour // Senior // Setter
471 assists (4th in HHC)
All-Hoosier Hills Conference 1st team
Academic All-State Honorable Mention
2015 Owls MVP, Assist Award
Signed to play at NCAA Div. I Morehead State University
Joining Chandler Clark on the 2015 All-Jackson County Volleyball team are:
Morgan Wehmiller // Brownstown Central // Senior
Accomplishments: All-Mid Southern Conference, 194 kills, 678 hits, 208 digs, 30 aces
Danielle Meyer // Brownstown Central // Senior
Accomplishments: All-MSC honorable mention
Brooklyn Snodgrass // Brownstown Central // Freshman
Accomplishments: All-MSC, 310 digs, 14 aces
Brittany Clem //Crothersville // Junior
Accomplishments: All-Southern Athletic Conference, 38 aces
Avery Carney // Medora // Senior
Accomplishments: 305-340-71 setting, 33-41-5 blocks
Cecily Coffman // Seymour // Junior
Accomplishments: All-HHC 2nd team, 413 digs (1st HHC, No. 19 Class 4A), 17 aces, 2015 Owls Most Improved/Dig Award
Emilee Pollmann // Seymour // Senior
Accomplishments: All-HHC, Academic All-State, 779 hitting attempts, 257 kills (6th HHC), 2015 Owls Hitting Award
Hayley Carter // Trinity Lutheran // Senior
Accomplishments: Academic All-State, 436 digs, 11 kills, five assists
Haylee Barker // Trinity Lutheran // Senior
Accomplishments: Academic All-State honorable mention, 458 assists, 215 kills, 201 digs
Taylor Reynolds // Trinity Lutheran // Senior
Accomplishments: 226 digs, 16 kills
Anne Franke // Trinity Lutheran // Senior
Accomplishments: Academic All-State honorable mention, 158 kills, 45 blocks
Brooke Meyer // Brownstown Central // Junior
Richayla Huff // Brownstown Central // Junior
Laura Pence // Brownstown Central // Senior
Chasta Lamb // Crothersville // Sophomore
Maddie Riley // Crothersville // Freshman
Lacey Hall // Crothersville // Sophomore
Jadelyn Dean // Medora // Senior
Mollie Borcherding // Seymour // Senior
Mikayla Fee // Seymour // Senior
Lauren Fleetwood // Seymour // Junior
Abby Hackman // Trinity Lutheran // Sophomore
Hailley Peters // Trinity Lutheran // Sophomore