Prep Volleyball: Dual threat Hoover plays big for Lincoln despite small stature
Breyanna Hoover (6) of Lincoln County spikes the ball during a match last week. Hoover said she loves ¿diving after the ball¿ and has fun whether she is playing defense, directing the offense or attacking the net. (Hal Morris / August 28, 2012)
At 5-foot-4, Hoover is the right size for playing defense and directing traffic on offense, and she loves doing those things for Lincoln County. But the senior is also very capable of attacking as well, and she enjoys getting the chance to assert herself at the net.
In fact, Hoover loves just about everything about the game and about playing for a Lincoln team that was one of the area’s best last season and could be again this year.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Hoover said.
Hoover has also come to love her new role as a leader on her team, where she is a co-captain and one of three seniors.
“Yeah, I love it,” she said.
One of the way Hoover is leading Lincoln is through her play on the Patriots’ back line, an area where she says she has made the most improvement.
“Probably just getting to the ball and having the people in front know where the ball is going,” she said.
Communication is key, and Hoover said she and all of her teammates have made great strides in that area since the start of preseason practice.
“She has focused on communicating, and I think that helps her and (makes) our offense stronger,” Lincoln coach Amanda Massey-Wiles said.
Hoover has also become the player who is perhaps most likely to hit the floor in pursuit of a ball.
“I love diving after the ball. It’s just fun, and when you dive and get the ball you just feel more accomplished,” she said.
She can accomplish things on the front line, too, with an ability to spike the ball that many players of her size don’t possess.
“I like spiking because I have a hard spike when it goes in. Mostly it goes out, but when it goes in I usually get a kill,” she said.
Massey-Wiles said Hoover’s double-threat capability is typical of several of the Lincoln players.
“Over the past couple years she’s played a couple different positions on our team, and she’s been practicing on the front and back line, and that’s helped her become a well-rounded player,” Massey-Wiles said. “A lot of our girls are comfortable playing in many spots, and they’ve been working on being able to execute no matter where they are.”
Hoover decided to try out for volleyball as a freshman after learning about it from a girl whose mother worked with her mother.
“I thought it’d be a fun sport, so I tried out,” she said. “It took me a couple years to actually get the hang of everything, but ... it’s a lot of fun.”
She said she can tell she has come a long way since starting out in the game.
“My freshman year I couldn’t do anything hardly, and this year I feel like I’m a pretty good player,” she said.
And she said she can already tell that she’s going to miss her team and her teammates next year.
“I’m going to miss everybody. I’m going to miss Coach, I’m going to miss the games, everything about it,” Hoover said.