Snyder Huskies’ unsung MVP

By Jennifer Hutchins

The NIU volleyball team’s Shelby Snyder could be one of NIU’s greatest unsung heroes.

In her first season with the Huskies, the starting freshman setter has yet to receive any “player-of-the-week” honors, all-tournament recognition or tournament MVP awards.

But her teammates have and that, Snyder says, speaks for itself.

At the Wichita State University Tournament this weekend, sophomore Amy Foulke received her second tournament MVP award of the year and junior Wendy Mason was named to her fourth all-tournament team this season in as many tournaments.

“Everyone always feels bad after tournaments because I never get any awards,” Snyder said. “But I feel really good when players like Amy and the other hitters have a good game. When they have a good game it means I had a good game because if I’m off then their hitting will be off too.”

The Fountain Valley, Calif. native spent five years playing club ball before joining NIU. Snyder did earn her share of MVP awards and all-conference recognition during high school as she was named twice to the First-Team All-Sunset Conference team and received the FVHS MVP award in those two years.

But with the North Star Conference Finals coming up this weekend at Cleveland, Ohio, the only award Snyder is hoping to earn is a first-place trophy for the team. NIU enters the tournament with a 22-7 ledger and a 4-2 record in the NSC.

“I think we can win it,” Snyder said. “The two conference games we lost shouldn’t have happened and we know we can play better than that.”

As the “quarterback” of the team’s offensive attack, Snyder plays a large role in the outcome and performance of the Huskies hitting game, but Snyder does not think of it that way.

“The only extra pressure I feel going into this tournament is that I know I need to have a really good game,” Snyder said. “I need to be copletely focused because it all comes down to these games.”