SCHENECTADY — Ballston Spa senior Anna Pilkey drilled the ball hard into the Schenectady defense several times early in Wednesday’s Suburban Council volleyball match at the Pat Riley Sports Center.
Later on, she continued to hammer, but also scored a few more points on well-placed dinks.
“When I was a sophomore, I just hit the ball,” the Scotties’ co-captain said after her team had rallied for a 3-2 win over the Patriots. “I wanted to catch them on their heels so I threw a tip in there to trick them, or I smashed it. I have added tools to my repertoire.”
Pilkey displayed just about everything in Wednesday’s match, from offense and defense to passing and serving, while continually urging her teammates on.
“Aside from her skills she is super competitive, and that spreads to the other players,” Ballston Spa coach Heather LaSalvia said of the SUNY Cortland-bound outside hitter. “She is a girl you want on your team. I want a hundred of her.”
Pilkey, who was called up to the Ballston Spa varsity team late in her freshman year, is one of those first-at-practice, last-to-leave players.
“I want to be a good example for everyone,” the 5-foot-11 Pilkey said after collecting 15 kills, four aces and 12 digs in the match with Schenectady. “I want to be that leader.”
Pilkey gets to do that as a youth-team coach with LaSalvia’s Arctic Blaze Volleyball Club and as a veteran on the Ballston Spa varsity team that she co-captains with fellow 12th-grader Lexi Davis.
“I definitely encourage everyone, especially the younger girls,” said Pilkey, who made the all-state Class AA fifth team as a junior. “I want to help them like the older girls did for me.”
One of those older girls was Megan McMahon, who Pilkey will be joining on the SUNY Cortland team.
“She was so nice to me,” Pilkey said. “I want to keep the tradition going here.”
Pilkey will be playing at SUNY Cortland for coach Erin Glickert, formerly Erin Little, who starred as a frontline player at Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake and Syracuse University. Glickert had played in the Lakeside Volleyball Club that’s run by Burnt Hills coach Gary Bynon, and Pilkey joined that organization when she was in 10th grade.
“We have a connection. We were taught the same things. We do the same things,” Pilkey said of Glickert. “I am so excited to play for her.”
Pilkey will lead the Scotties in their final regular season match Friday at home against Albany. The Suburban Council tournament will be held next week.