GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

K.V.'s Martin is a threat on every part of the court

2011-10-17T22:00:00Z 2011-10-27T19:10:05Z K.V.'s Martin is a threat on every part of the courtBy Hillary Smith hillary.smith@nwi.com, (219) 933-3233 nwitimes.com

WHEATFIELD | Gabby Martin was attending her sister's volleyball games at Kankakee Valley while still in the first grade.

Watching the court, the game, the players and all the fun they were having, Martin was immediately attracted to the sport.

As a sophomore outside hitter, she's already leaving her name in the school record books. With 326 digs, Martin has surpassed the mark for most in a season (previous was 296) and figures to set a career record before the end of her junior year.

And playing in the back row isn't even her forte.

"I would really rather be a libero," Martin said. "I love to pass and I love the back row. But I've always been an outside hitter."

Martin, who also plays basketball and runs track, leads her team in kills with 275 and has the second-most aces with 70.

The Kougars open their postseason Thursday against Calumet in Game 2 of the Rensselaer Sectional.

"She works very, very hard during the offseason all while playing other sports," coach Rick Ashmore said. "She has a very high volleyball IQ, understands the game well and has been playing for so long.

"She's a very smart hitter, she can read blockers and has a real good help-side ... her strength is her serve-receive."

Martin started playing volleyball at age 8 and by 10, she was on her first travel team. Soccer and basketball took over her schedule and she returned to her favorite sport in time for middle school.

She's listened to instructors while playing volleyball at the club level with Ashmore's Dunes Volleyball Club and learned to watch the tell-tale signs from players on the other side of the net. 

"She has such a feel for the game," said Ashmore, who has sent more than 200 volleyball players to college. "She can read a hitter's shoulders from the back row to see where the ball is going to go."

Martin has a keen insight into the sport.

"A lot of college coaches have come in and talked to our club and it's just about paying attention to what they say," she said. "I wanted to see the kinds of things they were seeing.

"I've learned that instead of just being a good hitter, you watch enough on the other side of the net and maybe go for the tip. I've picked up to watch where the hitter is hitting early and they'll maybe start cheating one direction and that makes it easy to know where the ball is going to go."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best football team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses