Veteran middle hitter a force at net for Lady Scorpions
JJ Curry led teams in blocks and kills last season
FARMINGTON – JJ Curry shifts around different spots up front, and she reaches those spots quickly.
Left and right, front and back, she anticipates where to strike and where to get stops.
That's why the middle hitter for the Farmington volleyball team continues to be a handful for opponents every match.
"I think I'm just a presence there that they need to keep in mind," the 5-foot-10 Curry said. "I have to be pretty quick at the net."
Curry can maneuver around to the middle lane for a quick spike on offense, just as quickly as she can scoot forward slightly and raise her arms for an easy block.
"I just try to read the (opposing) setter's hands, try to pick up the hitters and where they are. I'm a middle (hitter), so I just try to be as quick as possible and get around the block," Curry said.
Curry led FHS with 76 blocks and was tied for a team-high 215 kills in 2016, but she also spent that time working on her acceleration going for the big hit or block.
"I definitely think I've gotten better in that regard," Curry said.
Skills wise, all Curry is really doing is fine-tuning little details on both sides.
"As a middle, you're there to assist all the way across the net. JJ reads the other team pretty well. When her brain processes what the other team's doing, she's able to get those long legs reacting quickly," coach Alan Rowland said. "She's just got a bit of an edge on maybe some of the smaller or less athletic blockers out there to be able to close the block quickly."
Curry's commitment to make those key plays at the net, both on offense and defense, can mean twice the trouble for foes.
And because of how much she's quickly processing and responding to opponents' tendencies, Curry is expected to keep evolving in 2017. Entering Tuesday's match at Piedra Vista, Curry has 13 kills and five blocks this season.
"JJ's got that ability to be able read and react very quickly," Rowland said. "It always makes things easier when you have somebody who gets it, can react and be physically able to accomplish what she's supposed to be doing at the net."
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.