COLONIE Hattie Burgher reached a milestone few high school volleyball players even think about.
The Loudonville Christian School senior recorded her 1,000th kill in the Eagles’ 3-2 non-league loss to Niskayuna last Friday.
“I think all of my hard work and dedication paid off,” said Burgher, a Selkirk resident. “I attribute all of my success to my team and my coach.”
Hattie’s coach at Loudonville Christian School is her mother, Rosemary Burgher. And Rosemary attributed Hattie’s success as an outside hitter to her ability to read the opposing team’s formation on the court.
“Hattie has what they call a very good volleyball IQ,” said coach Burgher. “You can have a lot of strength and a lot of skill, but she has the ability to see how the defense is lined up and she can anticipate where to hit it. She can almost utilize the opponent to score a kill.”
In order to reach 1,000 kills, a volleyball player would need to average 250 per season for four years if she joins the varsity team as a freshman. And in order to record a kill, a player must hit the ball in such a way that it lands out of the reach of the six players on the other side of the net or otherwise can’t be returned.
Burgher got close to the milestone by averaging five kills per set through Loudonville Christian’s Central Hudson Valley League schedule this season. But that average took a hit last week when the Eagles – a Class C school – played two Class AA Suburban Council schools, Bethlehem and Niskayuna. Burgher had nine kills in Loudonville Christian’s 3-0 victory over Bethlehem last Wednesday to get her to 991 for her career.
Niskayuna’s defense proved to be tough for Burgher and her Loudonville Christian teammates to break last Friday, though. Allie Legere and Katelyn Lampman were put in charge of blocking Burgher at the net, and the duo did a good job in the first three games as they limited Burgher to seven kills.