2015 Volleyball Player of the Year: Sherando’s Singhas continued to rise in senior season

Sherando's Kelsey Singhas led the area with 314 kills this past season. Singhas is The Northern Virginia Daily's 2015 Volleyball Player of the Year. Rich Cooley/Daily

STEPHENS CITY – Easily considered Sherando’s volleyball team’s top attacking threat entering her senior season this past fall, Kelsey Singhas had a single personal goal set for herself in 2015.

In each of the two seasons prior to the 2015 campaign, Singhas led the Warriors in kills. As a senior, Singhas simply wanted to continue the string of improvement she’s seen from herself on the volleyball court since joining the Warriors’ varsity team late in her freshman season.

“I just wanted to get better and be better than I was in past years because that’s always your goal. You should wanna be better than what you did before,” Singhas said recently. “And I just like the competition in our area. I just always wanted to get points for our games so we could win and also to get more kills than the other top hitters in our area.”

Singhas, The Northern Virginia Daily’s 2015 Volleyball Player of the Year, saw that improvement in her final high school volleyball season. And she saw it in a big way.

Singhas, unsurprisingly, reprised her role as the Warriors top scoring threat. What was surprising, however, Singhas admits, was just how much better her numbers looked at season’s end. The senior finished with 314 kills, well above her team-leading 178 kills just a season ago.

“I mean I thought I was gonna hit well this year but I didn’t realize it was gonna be that well,” Singhas said. “And it just amazed me how much I got better over the years.”

Singhas’ performance this past season put her “easily” into the top three of Sherando’s all-time career kills list, Warriors head coach James Minney said, and what makes Singhas’ output even more impressive are the circumstances under which she generated that high kill total.

The Warriors lost 6-foot-1 junior hitter Melissa Gaudette to a season-ending injury early in the year, forcing Sherando to be more one-dimensional while Singhas and fellow outside hitter Alaina Paige shouldered a large chunk of the scoring burden.

“Losing Melissa hurt us from the fact that the other teams could tell where the ball was gonna go,” Minney said. “And (Singhas) did really well. For the other teams knowing who they have to guard and block, she still responded very well.”

That was largely the result of Singhas’ dedication to sharpening her game.

Early in her high school career Singhas was a lateral jumper, and under the guidance of Minney she learned to be more vertical in her jumps to generate more power behind her attacks.

Singhas also trained with Frisby’s Agility, Speed and Strength Training (FASST) in Winchester over the summer and did some solo fitness work in the gym to prepare for her senior season.

“I think that’s also what helped me get more kills because I was jumping higher and I was moving faster on the court, getting balls that I couldn’t get before because I was getting there faster than I would’ve been before,” Singhas said. “And (it just made) me stronger to be able to keep playing and stay strong through all the matches instead of just dying after the second set.”

That added conditioning, plus a commitment to becoming a better defender, allowed Singhas to remain on the floor no matter her position in the rotation.

“I just wanted to be able to play all the way around and be able to help my team out, not only offensively but defensively in the games. So I just like to be on the court and help as much as I can,” Singhas said.

Singhas became a complete player in 2015, as she led the team in blocks (41) and was second on the team in digs (183) and aces (51).

The senior credited Minney with helping her improve on the defensive end, while the head coach attributed much of Singhas’ success to her drive to get better each year.

“She wasn’t complacent, she didn’t settle,” Minney said. “I mean obviously she’s a better player on the team – the best player on the team overall offensively and defensively – and she’s one of the few athletes that you get that doesn’t become complacent. It’s really tough when you’re at the top on your team and there’s not a lot of people pushing you to get better and she still works harder and harder every day to get better.”

Minney added that Singhas’ leadership was a key component to Sherando’s success this past fall. A team captain, Singhas was one of seven seniors who helped lead the Warriors to an appearance in the Region 4A West quarterfinals, where their season ended to eventual state champion Loudoun County.

Singhas said her varsity experience gleaned from past seasons helped her develop her own leadership style this year.

“I decided to base my leadership off the leadership that I had in the past,” she said. “… I just used both years of how each captain led the team and put it into this year.”

Singhas said she has yet to receive any significant interest from colleges in regard to playing volleyball at the collegiate level, but she’s hoping that will change while playing for the Northern Virginia Volleyball Association (NVVA) based out of Sterling.

“I’m hoping with playing for them they can get me seen and get an offer,” she said.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com