By Shannon J. Allen/Sand Mountain Reporter
Gadsden State volleyball coach Angie Sanders certainly has developed a pipeline with the Boaz High School program.
On Nov. 15, senior Anna Sanders became the third Lady Pirate in three years to sign with the Cardinals.
There’s also a family connection, as Angie Sanders is Anna’s stepmother.
“It’s going to be hard to get used to it,” Anna said of playing for her stepmother. “I would like to play outside (hitter), but mostly wherever she needs me. Volleyball is my all-time favorite (sport). I love being out there because it’s so fun. I love the sport [and] I love to compete.”
As a four-year varsity volleyball player, Sanders helped the Lady Pirates win 186 matches for an average of 46.5 victories per season. She collected 780 kills during the 2013 season, averaging 12 kills per match.
Sanders helped the Lady Pirates reach the Class 5A state tournament during her freshman and junior seasons.
“It’s from her work, not necessarily because of me, but I have had the opportunity to watch her a lot and see the things she does well on the floor,” Angie Sanders said of Anna. “I also know her passion for the game. I know how motivated she is to do well at what she does. That’s going to play an important role as well. She’s a good student and she works hard.
“Anna blocks well,” Sanders added. “(Boaz head coach) Lindsay (Sullivan) has had her in the middle and she’s had her outside, and that’s going to help because she’s ver-satile. She can do several things, and she plays all the way around. She’s gotten several honors and awards in her high school program, and she’s been a leader a lot of times on the floor. I just expect her to get even better and do bigger and better things when she leaves here.”
Sanders said she’s going to work with Anna on her middle transition, which is a lot quicker in college than in high school.
“She swings well outside,” Sanders said. “I like her because she can block so well, and I may have her play right side and turn around and set. She’s got big hands, she sets the ball well and she’s strong enough to push it all the way outside for another hitter. She’s going to contribute in two or three different ways, which is good. I feel like she’s going to earn a spot, and I feel like she’ll work hard to do that.”
Anna Sanders, who played with Gadsden Volleyball Club, said it’s been her goal since her sophomore season to sign a volleyball scholarship.
“It helps out a lot because you play almost every single weekend,” Anna said of club ball. “You travel and it’s really fun.”
Anna joins a Lady Cardinal squad that went 29-7 and finished second to Wallace-Hanceville in the Alabama Community College Conference Tournament.