Hammond leading Crest to new heights

Crest senior volleyball player McKenna Hammond has helped lead her Lady Lancers to a 24-6 mark. The last time Crest was this good was 34 years ago.

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Sports

October 11, 2022 - 2:23 PM

Crest’s McKenna Hammond (14) hits a ball at Iola on Sept. 10. Photo by Quinn Burkitt

Crest Lady Lancer senior volleyball leader McKenna Hammond was named the Allen County Athlete of the Month for September. 

Hammond has played a role on the varsity volleyball team all four years. Hammond has been instrumental in helping the  Lancers earn their best record (24-6) since 1988. 

The senior is currently playing the best volleyball of her life and has been on fire from the serving line as well as passing the ball. 

In Crest’s most recent weekend tournament at Uniontown this past Saturday, Hammond led her team with five ace serves as well as in serve receive passing. Hammond also led her team with 21 digs and made eight kills against St. Paul last week. 

“I really like passing. It’s my strong suit,” she said. “I feel like I have a lot of muscle memory when it comes to passing. It comes more natural to me. I seem to be most talkative on the court and I like to show lots of leadership as a senior.”

Hammond’s experience on the court has taught her not to allow a game to mess with her performance and mentality. 

Hammond credits her coach, Abigail Hermreck, as well as her teammates for lifting her up when she’s down. 

“I used to get in my head a lot but my coaches and teammates really help me with staying calm,” Hammond said. “Just staying out of my head and not making a mistake, in sports it’s really important. Throughout my years I’ve learned to not let it bother me.” 

As one of the smaller schools in the Allen County area, Crest athletes typically grow close no matter the sport. Those connections have helped the Lady Lancers jump out to their impressive 24-6 record. 

The last time the Lady Lancers were this good was 34 years ago when current assistant coach Tisha Hugg was the head coach. 

“Being a part of such a tight team, everyone is really happy and they love the sport as well so that’s really a good thing. Being a part of this team is great,” said Hammond. “We do a lot of teamwork exercises and talk to each other or just play games. It’s nice having such a small community because everyone gets along.”

Hammond has a personal goal of signing to play college volleyball after graduation. She has not signed anywhere yet but is keeping her options open.

It’s hard to deny the amount of work the four-year varsity player puts in. Hammond also plays on the Allen County Aces travel volleyball team. This group of players is comprised of some of the best volleyball talents in the area and begins once the high school season is over. 

“I really enjoy playing on that team, it’s really fun and a lot faster-paced than high school volleyball. We face a lot of challenging teams.” Crest has only three regular season matchups remaining on their schedule. Hammond along with the other seniors on her team were recognized on senior night on Tuesday. 

“What’s different this year is that we have come together really well and we are really strong,” Hammond said. “I work hard to be a good leader and so does Kayla (Hermreck). She sees when I’m down and picks me up. We work well together.”

Crest ends its season at Southern Coffey County on Thursday. 

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