Perfection is something every athlete strives for, regardless of the sport.
Every bowler wants to throw a 300-game. Every pitcher wants to set down the lineup in front of him without giving up a baserunner.
That pursuit of perfection is no different on the volleyball court. Although it's rarely done, every server wants to win a game 25-0. Playing for the Hernando Juniors 15U Club, Allyson Schillinger, 14, accomplished that feat at the Asics OVA Invitational in Orlando on March 1.
"It all just happened so quickly," Allyson said. "They actually served first, and we broke it right away. From there, everything just clicked."
After dropping the first game in a best-of-three match with Club Storm Gold out of Tampa, Schillinger took her place as the first server in the rotation for Game 2. As the game started, she had no clue she would be the only one to serve for her team in that game.
On the occasions Schillinger didn't serve an ace, her teammates were there to back her up and continue the volley. There weren't many long rallies in the game, but the ones that did happen were won by Hernando. The front row of Mackenzie Siem, Carly Wiggins and Devon Rennie led a stellar attack on returned balls.
"Things are always more memorable for me when the whole team does well," Allyson said. "That win was a good example of that. Every time the ball came back at our side, the rest of the girls sent it right back over."
Allyson's father, Paul Schillinger, coaches the Hernando Juniors 15U squad and his excitement overflowed as Allyson neared the flawless effort that motivated the club team to a bronze medal finish at the elite tournament.
"Up to that point, we hadn't been playing very well at all in the tournament," Schillinger said. "They all bonded together as one cohesive unit and came up with every dig and set they needed."
Next season, Allyson will be attending Springstead High. Working with newly appointed Springstead coach Darcy Hinton, the Hernando Juniors 17U coach, should only improve her already superb skill set. Standing 5-foot-4, she has gained a reputation as a strong server and defensive player on the back row.
One factor that seems to bode especially well for Allyson is her focus when the game begins. One quality that almost every above-average athlete possesses is focus, and Allyson points to that as a major reason for her success.
"Once I get on the court, I don't pay attention to anything else other than what's in front of me," Allyson said.
If that kind of concentration and faith in her teammates can bring about results like her most recent domination, then Allyson could have a few more moments like that in her future.
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