Self excels at outside hitter position

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, October 21, 2014

1021 spt-Jade Self salutes

Pleasant Home senior Jade Self salutes teammate Samantha Stamnes Monday night during a pre-match ritual. | Andrew GarnerStar-News

Pleasant Home senior outside hitter Jade Self sets a laser focus on the volleyball, takes a few steps forward, leaps and then smacks the ever-living tar out of the ball over the net.

This has been a normal routine for the 5-foot-6 senior this season.

“Jade has pretty good leaping ability to start with,” PHS head volleyball coach Jerry Davis said. “She learned the steps. There are fundamentals of hitting those steps to get up there.”

Spectators at any game in the Frank Ray Garner Gymnasium at PHS got a good up-close look at Self’s routine.

The Lady Eagles, when given the opportunity, set the ball to Self, who then takes it the rest of the way to land a crucial point or a momentum changer.

Self said she uses her height to her advantage because it can be deceiving.

“I guess it’s an advantage because coaches don’t think I’m a hitter,” she said. “I can just come out with my sets that the setters give me because they’re always good. I can hit the ball.”

Self said it took a lot of practice to get all it down pat.

Davis said his senior really got things going last year.

“The biggest thing with Jade is that she’s learned to control herself,” the coach said. “She was very emotional and sometimes she would hit balls that weren’t hittable balls. She wouldn’t place them.

“She’s gotten to where a senior should be,” he said. “She’s turning out to being what you want as a player. She plays all the way around — she’s a good server. She may be one of two, if not, the best passers on the team.”

This week, Self will continue her dominant attack at the Class 1A South Super Regional in Montgomery. The Lady Eagles play Akron Community School at 6:45 p.m. on Friday in the first round.

Self said she’s ready to play.

“It’s like waiting on Christmas, for real,” she said. “I’m just ready for it to be here.”

Self also plays basketball — her chosen sport — and softball at PHS. She is the daughter of Jessie Self, of Andalusia.