P.O. Female Athlete of the Week: Carly Swope
When a team completes a near-perfect regular season, you can most certainly bet there is a face behind the team's success.
For the McConnellsburg girls volleyball team, that face might look unfazed by the team's success.
The Spartans' "stone-faced" outside hitter, Carly Swope, doesn't let the pressure of being No. 1 get to her, and pushed the team to one of its most successful regular seasons ever.
Last week she had 18 kills, 25 digs and a staggering 25 aces between three matches. She is this week's Public Opinion Female Athlete of the Week.
"She does everything for us when it comes down to it," McConnellsburg coach Heidi Johnston said. "She's a quiet leader and we go to her for everything from her passing to hitting. She has come a long way in her consistency on the outside."
Her quiet leadership went a long way toward guiding McConnellburg to an undefeated record in the Sideling Hill League and Inter-County Conference, a No. 1 seed in District 5 Class 1A, and a one-loss regular season.
"It's a really great feeling," Swope said. "People say it's a lot of pressure (being the No. 1 seed), but I don't feel like that. Since playing my freshman year I knew that I was going to be the one the underclassman would look up to, so I know I have to step up."
Swope said her first experience in the District 5 tournament as a freshman is the reason she stays so level-headed in pressure situations - looking back on a specific play she made during the 2013 tournament.
"My freshman year I remember the second round of districts, I was so scared because we were playing girls who were much taller than I was," Swope said. "But I remember a girl went up and made a really hard swing, and I went down to pass and I hit the target, and after that I knew I could pass anything, no matter who or what it is."
Carly Swope, McConnellsburg
Sport: Girls volleyball
Position: Outside hitter
Parents: Denny and Elaina Swope
Other interests: Swope also plays softball, and she is in the FFA and NHS.
Favorite team: Anything Duke
Surprising fact: She shows steer, pigs, lambs and goats at farm shows.
Statistics: Swope had a big hand in the Spartans completing a perfect season in the Sideling Hill League and the Inter-County Conference, putting up big numbers in the final week of the regular season ... She had 17 aces against Fannett-Metal alone, and completed the three-match week with a total of 18 kills, 25 digs and 25 aces.