Greenbrier High School senior Jordan Welch struggled to find words to describe her play this season for the Wolfpack volleyball team.
She finally settled on an answer about playing wherever coach Debbie Born needed her.
Senior teammate Nicole Burdette interjected.
"She's being way too modest on that," Burdette said. "She can place the ball. It takes a hard swing to get the kill in. She always has perfect passes -- perfect placement."
The Wolfpack, who reached the quarterfinals of the Class AAAAA volleyball tournament before losing to top-ranked Pope, found it difficult to talk about individual attributes. The team boasted nine seniors, including statistical leaders Welch, Burdette and Kailyn Blackmon.
The group played together from freshman year on junior varsity through Saturday's loss at state. The Wolfpack's 43-5 record in that span was the best winning percentage in the school's history.
Greenbrier's best finish on the state level was a semifinal appearance in 2002, but Born hinted throughout the season that the 2009 team could be her best in 14 seasons as coach. She points to the talented underclassmen who also have played together coming up.
"Everybody has their own niche," Born said.
For Burdette, that niche was kills. When Greenbrier needed a point, it looked to her.
Burdette led the Wolfpack with five kills per match and had 237 for the season entering the final match, the loss to Pope.
"Nicole pretty much does everything," Blackmon said. "She can set, she can pass, she can hit. She has one of the hardest hits I have ever seen."
Burdette said she would like to play volleyball in college and that she was talking to coaches about the possibility. She also has applied to the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Blackmon expects to continue playing after high school, though she is not sure where. Blackmon, a setter and middle hitter, led the Wolfpack in assists and was second in kills.
She did a variety of jobs for the Wolfpack as a junior and added a weapon during the summer before her senior year, learning to jump serve at a camp at University of West Florida in Pensacola.
The technique gave her a mental edge on opponents and Blackmon boasted a 90 percent serve percentage.
"When they see someone jumping on a serve, it's very intimidating," Burdette said. "You know that the ball is going to float deep and barely be in or you know it's going to drop right in front of you."
Welch's serves have also been on the mark. Her 91 percent serve percentage included the winning point against South Forsyth in a thrilling five-game victory to open the playoffs.
Welch was the Wolfpack's top defensive player. She led the team with a 286 digs and 85 blocks. She also averaged 2.2 kills per match.
"Jordan doesn't get a lot of kills, but she never comes out of the game," Born said.
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