SportStars Magazine

Megan Trottier: Woodland Christian Volleyball’s Hitmaker

Woodland Christian, Megan Trottier, Volleyball

Woodland Christian Senior Knows How To Rock & Roll — And She May Just Be The State’s Best Small-School Volleyball Player •

The Boots Randolph blooper anthem “Yakety Sax” would have aptly narrated a Woodland Christian dig this preseason in the third set of a sweep of Bradshaw Christian-Sacramento.

Woodland Christian, Megan Trottier, Volleyball

Photos By Ike Dodson

Two Cardinals in the back row collided as the ball approached the gap between them. They spilled away as the ball rocketed to the high ceiling. It glanced off the rafters and plummeted just slow enough for another player to scramble toward the descent, awkwardly popping the ball up again.

Senior Megan Trottier calmly settled under that pass and drilled a net whispering kill that ricocheted off a would-be Bradshaw Christian digger and banged off the scorekeepers’ table.

Trottier, perhaps the best small-school hitter in California, doesn’t need a perfect play to execute a perfect kill.

“She makes kills and great plays out of just junk,” Woodland Christian coach Karen Gellen said with a laugh. “We could just toss a ball up there and she goes and gets the kill.

“It’s pretty remarkable, what she can do just all by herself out there.”

 

Trottier’s statistical fortitude, carefully charted by Woodland Christian coaches, isn’t inflated, but it’s other-worldly.

Woodland Christian, Megan Trottier, VolleyballLast year Trottier delivered 593 kills, fourth best in the state. That was 65 more kills than anyone else in the Sac-Joaquin Section and 276 more than any other Div. VI player in California (Woodland Christian sports an enrollment of just 210).

She can score from anywhere on the floor, and is especially dominant up front, where her 5-foot, 10-inch frame seems to levitate above the net.

“With a hitter like that, you have to want her to hit it to you,” Bradshaw Christian coach Melissa Bowers explained, after watching Trottier smash 21 kills against her girls. “You have to want her to just drill it right at you, because if there is any part of you that doesn’t want that, she is going to find you, and it shows up with a shank or with a no-dig.

“We tend to put up a block too early, and she’s a hitter we have to wait on, because she hangs in the air for 20 minutes. It’s great practice for us.”

Trottier has more hits than the Beatles.

She can go down the line, cross court, sneak over a tip, expose an empty patch of hardwood from the back row, and of course leap to thunder points off fleshy forearms. Through Sept. 18, she’d amassed 1,336 career kills on 2,957 attempts — a 45.2 percent hitting accuracy.

“At this point it’s not really a process I think of, since it’s become such like a habit, it’s become muscle memory,” Trottier said. “It really starts in practice. It’s ongoing, trying to get better. Each ball you touch, you are trying to improve yourself, mentally and physically.”

She’s not just talking about hitting.

Woodland Christian, Megan Trottier, VolleyballTrottier is a prolific jump-server. She’s totaled 516 service points in the last three years and sports 184 career aces through Sept. 18. She ended the Bradshaw match with seven consecutive service points, most of them unreturned.

Her digging is even better. Despite her hitting prowess, Trotteir was 38th in the SJS with 326 digs as a sophomore. She added another 306 last year and is on pace for a career high in that category, with 145 digs in the team’s first 14 matches.

She seemed desperate to save points against Bradshaw Christian, diving, rolling and bolting across the floor to chase down balls that seemed well out of reach.

“I think (rolling) prevents me from getting bruises,” Trottier said. “Since hitting is my main focus, I have a lot more fun doing defense and serving because I don’t get to do that as much.

“So it’s really just energy and adrenaline that’s fueling me to go get balls halfway across the court.”

Gellen dug Trottier out of a youth volleyball camp when she was in the sixth grade. Her tutelage and competitive experience was missing, but her talent still shined.

“She would jump higher than anybody else, and just had natural instincts for the game,” Gellen explained. “She had a heavy arm, even then. I could tell that with training she would be really good.”

Woodland Christian, Megan Trottier, VolleyballThe Junior Cardinals, Gellen’s club team and feeder program for Woodland Christian, helped develop Trottier’s skills. But it wasn’t long before Trottier outgrew that environment.

“In the ninth grade I said, ‘You have to go find somewhere else to play, this isn’t going to take you the next level… my little club,’” Gellen said. “She ended up playing for Five Starz and Debby Colberg, who is a well-known coach in the area from Sacramento State.

“Her having the opportunity to learn from an awesome coach was just exciting for me, and I knew she would go and get great training.”

Trottier and Five Starz’s 17-1 squad won the Far Western National Qualifier in Reno in April.

Her club success has generated interest from CSU Riverside and CSU Monterey Bay. However, Trottier said she’s still hunting for the perfect school to provide the education she seeks.

In the meanwhile, Trottier will chase her fourth consecutive section championship and third consecutive NorCal title with Woodland Christian — this time in a different division. Since the SJS forces dynastic teams to tackle teams in higher divisions, the three-time Div. VI champions will automatically compete in Div. V.

Woodland Christian, Megan Trottier, VolleyballThis could however make Woodland Christian potentially eligible for the Div. V state playoffs, since Div. VI ends in NorCals. The 30-team Div. V state playoffs command considerably more prestige. It’s where Waldorf-San Francisco has lived since beating Woodland Christian in the NorCal finals when Trottier was a freshman.

It will all depend on Woodland Christian’s ability to rally behind its star player.

“It’s not really one person,” Trottier said. “My teammates make me better. Without (setter Abby Leon) I wouldn’t be able to hit anything, and without any of the passers, Abby wouldn’t be able to set it for me to hit it.”

Leon, a senior, has already amassed 361 assists, 68 aces and 75 digs through mid-September. Seniors Alissa Pascoe (103 kills) and Amaya Pires (137 digs, 27 aces) also play big roles.

The supporting cast is important.

Even Paul needed a John, George and a Ringo.

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