Quickness allows Snyder to succeed

By John Dietz

When a volleyball player stands 5-6 and is playing for a top collegiate team, her ability to spike the ball won’t be one of the first things a coach looks for.

Sophomore Shelby Snyder knows this and has worked on a different aspect of her game to excel at this level.


“I don’t have the height, but I had the benefit of learning a quick offense in the past,” Snyder said. “I’d already played on quick teams in the past, so the adjustment to college wasn’t all that much.”

As a freshman, Snyder showed the Huskies that skill in 36 matches en route to a single-season record at NIU with 1,589 assists.

As NIU’s primary setter to the big guns on the team, such as Becky Ramsey, Amy Foulke, Nikki Kozak, and Wendy Mason, much of the pressure falls to Snyder to give them quality opportunities to smash points home.

This pressure, however, doesn’t phase her in the least, and Snyder has developed her primary personal goal around this aspect of her game for the upcoming season.

“I want to keep the other teams guessing,” Snyder said. “My main goal is to split the sets so other teams don’t know where the ball is going all the time.”

After a season with 27 victories in 1991, the Huskie spikers had many memorable moments, but one in particular stuck out for Snyder.

“The most memorable was the conference final when we beat Wright State in five (sets),” Snyder said. “I think it was the first time we saw how good we could be as a team. It was our goal to win the conference, and we saw our goal come true.”

With a tough schedule featuring Long Beach State, the Huskies have once again set their main goal at winning the conference title.

However, if the team can accomplish that feat, Snyder would like to see the team show the rest of the country just how good they are.

“Our number one goal is to win the conference,” said the Fountain Valley, Calif., native. “If we can do that, we’d like to make a real showing at the NIVC (National Invitational Volleyball Championships) and come in the top five.

“We want to make everyone look at us and see that we are a team that can contend.”

The Huskies open their season Friday at the Bowling Green State University Tournament.

And Snyder and her teammates are anxious to return to action.

“After our long preseason and these past few weeks of practice … we’re ready to go,” Snyder said.