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Killin' it

Dunks are fun, but biggest adrenaline rush in team sports arguably is a nasty volleyball spike

10:20 AM, Nov. 04, 2012 EST

Perhaps nothing is more satisfying - and devastating to an opponent - in team sports than a vicious spike in volleyball. / Jim Cowsert, US PRESSWIRE

Deer Valley (Antioch, Calif.) forward Marcus Lee is one of the most feared basketball players in the 2013 class. He swats shots so ferociously that opposing teams think twice and then think again before driving the lane and throws down monster dunks so hard that the rim literally rocks.

“I just feel so powerful … That feeling after you’ve just dunked on someone is so great,” said Lee, who has narrowed his list of colleges to Kentucky and California. “There’s hardly anything in sports that can top that feeling.”

The operative word being “hardly.”

As much as Lee loves to posterize the opposition on the hardwood, he said it pales in comparison to the rush he feels when he throws down a violent spike in a volleyball match.

“Getting a kill is the greatest adrenaline rush in sports,” said Lee, who doubles as a middle blocker on the Wolverines’ volleyball team. “You can’t even compare it to a dunk. There’s so much more power to a kill and there’s so much more meaning. It’s the ultimate intimidation factor.”

Papillion-La Vista South (Papillion, Neb.) center Kelly Hunter thrives on that intimidation.

She said that the Titans, two-time defending national champions, use it to their advantage.

“We’re a very confident team and we know that when we go up for a kill shot there’s no way possible anyone is gonna dig that ball,” Hunter said. “There’s no chance because no one can stop it. That’s how we carry ourselves and it works for us. The feeling you get when you get a kill is hard to explain. It’s awesome.”

So awesome that Lee is thoroughly convinced the only appropriate post-kill course of action is to “yell at the top of your lungs.”

“That’s all you can do,” he said. “That’s all you want to do so you just go with it.”

The biggest asset of a kill? Momentum.

“Especially when you haven’t had a big play in a while,” said Papillion-La Vista South outside hitter Kadie Rolfzen. “You’ve got all of your teammates just screaming around you and it gives you a big boost. It makes you want to go out and get that next kill. It brings you together as a team.”

That’s a message Papillion-La Vista coach Gwen Egbert has instilled into her team over the years.

Egbert, who played at Nebraska from 1981-83, said that a kill is the last step to the “ultimate teamwork moment.”

“For a kill to happen everybody has to do their job,” Egbert said. “That’s the reason everyone’s happy after it. A kill just gives the whole team a major confidence boost.”

For Lee it goes even further than confidence.

“You’re not just confident about winning the game anymore, it’s more than that, you know you’re gonna win,” Lee said. “That’s what a kill does. It just completely changes your mentality. I’m getting hyped right now even thinking about it. I’m ready to get another one.”



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