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Posted June 25, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

Female Athlete of the Year: Sirbaugh made mark at Sherando

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Sherando's Morgan Sirbaugh leaps over Skyline’s Tara Robinson on Oct. 3 during a match in Stephens City. Sirbaugh is The Northern Virginia Daily’s Female Athlete of the Year. Dennis Grundman/Daily file

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Sherando’s Morgan Sirbaugh (14) dribbles past Handley’s Cassie Alamo during a game on Jan. 17 in Winchester. Dennis Grundman/Daily file

By Tommy Keeler Jr. - tkeeler@nvdaily.com

Morgan Sirbaugh has been around sports her whole life. Her parents are both athletic and competed in lots of different sports, so it's no surprise how easy playing sports has been for her.

She's been able to understand the games, easier than the average person.

"I've just always been around and watched a ton of sports," Sirbaugh said of her sports IQ. "I think that just kind of came with it. I've just always watched a lot of games, whether it was basketball, football, baseball. I think I just kind of get that from being around sports."

"Every sport she plays, she's a standout not just because of her physical ability, but because of her mental ability to take the situation, think it through and 95 percent of the time make the right decision," Sherando girls basketball coach Kevin Reed said.

Sirbaugh, The Northern Virginia Daily's 2012 Female Athlete of the Year, had three great seasons for Sherando, and she made sure her fourth one was just as strong.

In volleyball, she had 304 kills, 60 aces, 22 blocks and 147 digs for the Warriors. Sirbaugh was the Northwestern District Player of the Year, the Northern Virginia Daily's Volleyball Player of the Year and she finished near the top in Sherando history in many categories.

Her 839 career kills, 163 aces and .328 kills percentage are second all-time at the school. Sirbaugh's 411 aces are third all-time in school history. The Warriors also won the Northwestern District regular season and tournament titles, before losing in the Region II quarterfinals this past season.

Sirbaugh's accomplishments in basketball were just as spectacular. She averaged 22.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 3.4 steals last year for the Warriors. She also shot 46.1 percent from the field and 65.8 percent from the free-throw line. Sirbaugh led Sherando to the regional tournament for the second straight year, where the Warriors lost in the semifinals to eventual state champion Millbrook.

The highlight of Sirbaugh's season and career came at Jefferson (W.Va.) during the girls basketball season. She broke the school record for points, which had been Cassie Carter's 1,290, in a 70-44 win on Dec. 21.

"It just showed me that all my hard work that I had put into it over the years had paid off in that one moment," Sirbaugh said. "Ever since my freshman year our assistant coach, coach [Susan] Saylor, had mentioned to me that I had broke 300 points as a freshman. So I always had it in my mind and was striving for it. It's a huge accomplishment."

Sirbaugh finished her career with 1,654 points, 745 rebounds, 153 assists and 221 steals.
Sirbaugh said she's sure that someone will come along and break it before long, and she's glad to give the future players something to shoot for.

Sirbaugh was a first-team Northern Virginia Daily all-area selection in basketball, as well as girls soccer.

Playing on defense, Sirbaugh didn't have a lot of fancy numbers for the Warriors' girls soccer team this year. However, with a young squad, she helped lead them to a few wins and taught them how to be better players for the upcoming seasons.

Sirbaugh said she was very pleased with her year overall.

"I couldn't ask for anything better for my senior year," Sirbaugh said. "Being named Player of the Year in volleyball was a huge honor, and breaking the school record in basketball was great. I had an amazing time during my senior year."

Reed said Sirbaugh is much more than just a great athlete.

"She's a great young lady who is an ideal role model for girls," Reed said. "Girls can look up to her because she's a three-sport standout, but girls can also look up to her in the way she carries herself and the way she always does what's right. For me to have my two daughters for two years be associated with Morgan Sirbaugh is bigger than sports. And I'm appreciative of what she's done for this school and the community in the Stephens City area."

Sirbaugh will attend Virginia Tech next year with her older sister, Megan. She said she plans to play club volleyball with Megan, but that will probably be the only sport she plays.

Sirbaugh said she enjoyed her time at Sherando, and was proud of what she accomplished at the school.

"I feel honored to be part of Sherando athletic history," Sirbaugh said. "I feel blessed to have had some of the best coaches and teammates, who helped me toward all my success. I couldn't ask for a better experience at Sherando.

"And I'm really going to miss it next year."


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