Amanda Anderson, a senior at Whitman-Hanson Regional High, will continue her volleyball career at Curry College next season.
Whitman-Hanson Regional High senior Amanda Anderson has committed to play volleyball at Curry College.
A key factor in Anderson’s decision was the ability to reunite with former W-H girls’ volleyball teammate and good friend Jordyn Keith, a rising sophomore on the Curry women’s volleyball team.
“I went to one of her games in September and October and then in between that time I also visited their school and talked to the coach there,” Anderson explained. “And then he saw me playing for my club team. Once I saw their team play, I really wanted to join the team. Jordyn was always talking about how great her new coach is and stuff and it made me excited to talk to him and stuff, too.”
Anderson was a two-year starter at outside hitter for the Panthers and co-captained the club this past season. She ended her career with 104 digs, 94 kills and 76 aces.
“Amanda had been preparing to be a senior varsity captain her whole volleyball career and fit in naturally to the role working along with Halle (Julian),” first-year W-H girls’ volleyball head coach Ashley Balbian, who coached Anderson at the junior varsity level her sophomore season, said. “In my opinion, what made her excel was her positive outlook and attitude.”
Anderson dealt with her fair share of adversity on the court. After an injury cut short her junior campaign, she fractured her foot in the first practice of this past season. While the injury kept her out of game action for the opening month, it didn’t hinder her from making a making a positive impression.
“Of course, she was upset but bounced back and showed up the next day on crutches asking what she could do to help,” Balbian said. “During the season when our record wasn’t great and Amanda was stuck on the bench she set such a great example for her teammates and younger girls in the program. Her positive encouragement while injured became an inspiration for us. I really respect how she handled that whole situation.”
While Anderson provided the younger girls an example on the bench, she did in practice as well, leading the junior varsity and freshman teams in a variety of drills during the course of the season.
“Helping the younger girls is very good for our program for getting them stronger to be good players and be leaders and take over Halle and my spot,” Anderson said. “I love helping them because I want them to fill in my shoes when all the seniors are gone to keep the program going and winning games.”
Anderson’s work with the younger players shined at its brightest in the Panthers’ final contest of the fall, a 3-1 win over Bridgewater-Raynham. After starting her regulars, Balbian lifted them in the second set and inserted a bevy of girls who had come up from junior varsity, many that Anderson mentored.
“It made me feel proud of being their captain and looking back and knowing that it was because of all us seniors who helped get them this far,” Anderson said. “And definitely keeping the attitude going because that’s how people win games, you have to keep your attitude very positive at all times.”
Anderson said her fondest memory on the court at W-H came during her junior season in a 3-2 victory over Pembroke.
“We were in the fifth set and it was 13-13 and there was a play where the ball went up and I had to kill it and I broke the tie and then it was 14-13,” she explained. “The moment was so intense and it was so awesome because all I saw was Halle looking at me and she’s like, ‘Don’t mess up.’
“And I got it and she got the winning point right after me and that was the best feeling in the whole world getting those two points because it felt like the most intense game we’d ever played as a team.”
Balbian said Curry is receiving a natural leader on and off the court in Anderson.
“Curry College is getting a dedicated student athlete who is excited about her major in psychology but also passionate about playing volleyball and being part of a team,” Balbian explained.
Curry, which competes in the Commonwealth Coast Conference of NCAA Division III, finished 11-18 last season.
“I definitely want to improve on my back row playing time and my hitting on certain spots and stuff like that,” Anderson said. “Just like little detail things to help me improve and get better. The goal of all of it is to be a starter on their team, but it’s going to be a lot of work.”