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Athlete of the Week: Jefferson's Amanda Daniel
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Honor Roll

Softball

Kallie Case, Buford: Had five hits, three triples, two RBIs and four runs scored as the Lady Wolves went 2-1 last week.

Stephanie Satterfield, White County: Surrendered a lead-off hit and nothing else to lead the Lady Warriors to an 8-0 win
over East Hall on Friday. She had six strikeouts in the game.

Volleyball

Nicolette Ashley, West Hall: Twenty-three digs, 11 aces and a 14-point service run Tuesday.

Taylor Cramsey, Jefferson: Twenty-one kills, three aces and two blocks in three wins.

Liz Darden, Buford: Had 55 assists in four wins over the week.

Jenna Falletta, West Hall: Twenty-seven assists, eight aces and four kills in four wins last week.

Laykin Herford, West Hall: 55 assists in four wins over the week.

Cassie Metcalf, Jefferson: Compiled 11 kills, 14 aces and four digs in three Lady Dragons wins.

Maggie Roper, Buford: Twenty-four kills in four wins over the week.

Sarah Wood, Jefferson: Had 12 blocks in wins over George Walton Academy, Archer and Tallulah Falls.

JEFFERSON — In only her fifth year playing competitive volleyball, junior setter Amanda Daniel has emerged as a leader for the Jefferson Lady Dragons.

“She is a leader, by far, and has been since her freshman year,” coach Mike Paul said.

On a team with seven juniors, one sophomore and no seniors, the burden of leadership falls to whichever athlete can stand out and lead from within a group of similar-aged peers.

Daniel proved over the last week that she can be that person for the Lady Dragons, compiling 51 assists, eight aces and 11 kills in the course of three Lady Dragons’ road victories.

For her efforts, Daniel is The Times’ Athlete of the Week.

On Tuesday, Jefferson traveled to Tallulah Falls, winning 2-0 (25-20, 25-20). Daniel had 13 assists in the win and followed that with 16 assists, six aces and three kills Thursday in a 2-0 (26-16, 25-18) win over Archer from Area 8-AAAAA.

Later that same day, Daniel continued her excellent play with 22 assists, four kills and two aces in a 2-1 win (25-21, 23-25, 25-16) over George Walton Academy to give the Lady Dragons a win in their first area game of the season.

“I just went out and played my game,” Daniel said of the three-game run. “But I don’t do it by myself.”

The setter received strong support from Sarah Wood, Cassie Metcalf and Taylor Cramsey, all three of whom were on the receiving end of many Daniel assists.

Wood set a single-game school record against George Walton by collecting seven blocks over the course of the match. The sophomore also had five kills on the week.

Metcalf had a well-rounded week with 11 kills, 14 assists and four digs while Cramsey added 21 kills, three assists and two blocks.

“We just have a strong team,” Daniel said of the Lady Dragons (8-1 overall,1-0 in Area 8-AA/A).

Of herself, Daniel believes her two biggest strengths — her ability to set the ball and her leadership — could possibly help her to play at the collegiate level after high school.

Standing at 5 feet, 5 1/2 inches tall, Daniel knows her height may keep her from playing at a bigger school, but Paul thinks that the junior has more than enough intangibles to play somewhere at the collegiate level.

“She’s very dynamic, very vocal,” Paul said. “She leads by example but also leads by motivating. For a 16-year-old, that’s quite an accomplishment.”

Daniel believes she must improve her ability to make passes to teammates if she is to play at the next level.

“I really need to work on my passing,” she said. “And getting taller, but I can’t really help that one.”

In her third year starting for the Lady Dragons, Daniel has gained so much experience that Paul feels she is much like a coach on the floor.

“She has to be an extension of me on the floor, and she is that,” Paul said. “She is our team captain because of that.”

Daniel was named to The Times All-Area second team in 2009 after setting single-season school records in assists (238) and digs (63).

The Jefferson Lady Dragons will travel to Hebron Christian Academy for a playdate beginning at 5 p.m., Tuesday.

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