Crimson Tide rally after a first-set loss to crush Forest Grove in a conference volleyball match
Given that Lauren Messmer is a bit on the quiet side, you might not hear her coming.
But youll surely notice her when she starts smacking a volleyball around.
She is a very quiet, shy type of a person, Glencoe coach Whitney Sahlfeld said on Tuesday following her teams match at Forest Grove. And its funny because when she does hit, youre like, where did that come from? And shes just got great form, and when she hits, she unloads.
The 5-foot-9 outside hitter took command during the second game against the Vikings, and her 14 kills in the contest sparked the Crimson Tide to a 21-25, 25-12, 25-10, 25-14 victory.
Entering the match, both teams sat at 5-5 in Pacific Conference play, so the win lifted Glencoe to 9-6 overall, a 6-5 league mark and sole possession of fourth place with just three conference matches to play.
The first game was really, really slow, and we play a quick offense, Sahlfeld said. If were not doing stuff quick, we kind of get into this slow movement and that really affects us. So once we kind of picked it up and started playing our game, we were good.
Messmer, who also stars for the Tides top-notch softball team, had a lot to do with that, thanks in large part to her efficiency at the net. The junior got her 14 kills in 28 attempts, which meant that she posted what Sahlfeld termed as a ridiculous hitting percentage of .500 for the match.
Perhaps a reflection of her quiet nature, when asked about how she played during the contest, Messmer was quick to put it into a team context.
I had great setting, so that really helped, she said.
In the second set, Messmer helped her team get going, notching three kills during a 7-0 Glencoe run that broke a tie game into a 15-8 advantage.
Glencoe which also got nine kills from junior Lillie Hamel and six each from senior setter Hannah Rossman and senior Katie Barger pretty much rolled from that point, never trailing by more than a point and often maintaining double-digit leads over the rest of the final three games.
Having picked up the sport in her childhood, Messmer started for the Tide last year in her sophomore season and earned second team all-league honors as an all-around player. Given her tall frame and athleticism, the sport clearly suits her.
I like volleyball just because its fun to be with your team, and its really fast-paced, Messmer said. Youre just constantly moving, and I think thats the fun part about it.
Being part of the Glencoe volleyball program is a family affair for her, as Sahlfeld is Messmers aunt through marriage, and Messmers cousin Sydney Sahlfeld is a freshman on the junior varsity squad.
On the volleyball hardwood, Messmer has not just family with her, but also friends. Rossman knows Messmers capabilities pretty well by now. The two play together not only on the varsity volleyball and softball teams, but also in club volleyball.
Shes an amazing hitter. She gets the job done, Rossman said. She gets it in the court. She usually mixes it up a lot goes line, goes cross, tips middle. She is such a good athlete. I really enjoy having her.
Messmer demonstrated her versatility on Tuesday, hitting with power, going cross-court for kills, sending balls off the Forest Grove block for points and even recording an ace. She is a key weapon on a squad that has been making strides over the course of the fall and is setting itself up for a potential best-ever finish in the Pacific Conference.
Since joining the league three years ago, Glencoes best finish came in 2011, when the Tide went 11-11 overall and 7-7 in conference play. A winning season would be the programs first since 2008, when Glencoe still competed in Class 5A and belonged to the Northwest Oregon Conference.
I feel like weve been working really hard in practice and then just coming out in games and ... putting it to work and showing teams that we can play, Messmer said.
The teams improvement has not been lost on Sahlfeld, who noted her squad beat league foe and third-place Tigard 25-20, 25-17 in a recent tournament. Glencoe gets its second cracks at Century and McMinnville next week before rounding out the conference slate at home against Tualatin on Oct. 22.
Were kind of beating those teams the second, third time around that were playing them, so Im happy with what were doing right now in the second part of the season, Sahlfeld said.
With a player like Messmer to build around, its steady as she goes.