FORT WAYNE – Somer Johnson has turned her versatility into a record-setting career for the Snider volleyball team.
The senior outside hitter recently became the schools single-season leader in kills with 461, passing Erin Heffners record of 439. En route to the record, Johnson also passed former Miss Basketball and pro basketball player Tiffany Gooden. She set the school single-season records for blocks (110) last year, a mark that had stood for 20 years.
Being able to play multiple positions along the front row – outside hitter, right-side hitter, setter and middle hitter – put Johnson in position for the records.
I like being versatile and being able to go all the way across the front row and play all the different positions, Johnson said. Its fun to be able to do different things throughout the game. I could focus on just one, but its better to be able to do anything that you are asked to do.
Snider (16-13) faces Columbia City (21-7) in the Northrop Sectional at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
As a freshman, Johnson played at setter and right side, as a sophomore it was mainly as a middle hitter and only in the front row and as a junior, she got more time at setter. This year, she has been the teams main weapon at outside hitter and never comes off the court.
Coming into Snider as a freshman, I honestly didnt think I would make varsity my first year, Johnson said. (Coach Brooke Sellhorn) had faith in me that I could do it and step up to that challenge. She pushed me to get better, and I didnt think I would be getting all these records with the stats and everything.
Johnson has 325 digs, 70 blocks and 24 aces this year.
Somer is coachable, and she is passionate about volleyball, Sellhorn said of the IPFW recruit who ranks fourth in her class academically. She has always been quiet but, this season she has stepped up in being a more vocal leader. Somer is demonstrating her passion for the game by expressing more emotion. She is humble and does not take any individual credit for our wins. Her main goal this season is not to be recognized individually, but for this team to win a sectional championship. They will be working very hard in order to have the opportunity to earn that title.
The only thing that has kept Johnson off the court was a meniscus tear in her right knee in club volleyball as a sophomore. But with the help of physical therapist and Snider assistant coach Terra Williams, Johnsons summer recovery got her ready for her junior high school season.
She really helped me with the emotional part and focusing on getting better so I could get back to playing, Johnson said of Williams. I was really devastated when it happened because I love volleyball so much, and I didnt want to let my team down.