“If she contacts the ball at the top of her jump, she neutralizes blocking of the defenders and has the whole court open to hit at,” St. Pius volleyball coach John Frederick said. “Whereas someone who does not jump as well needs to go around or roll the ball over a block to be effective.”
St. Pius’ opponents have witnessed this for some time and Blessed Trinity could only do so much as the 5-foot-9 senior finished with 35 kills, which is a school record, in the Lady Golden Lions’ 3-1 victory for the Class AAA volleyball championship on Nov. 2.
“That is pretty awesome,” said Hardeman, who is able to touch a regulation basketball rim. “I didn’t think I had that many.”
The previous school record was 28 kills, which was also set by Hardeman against Johns Creek in September.
“Leah wouldn’t be denied,” Frederick said. “She just took over. Thirty-five kills is just unheard of. Our setters just kept feeding her the ball and she just delivered.”
Hardeman finished with 499 kills, a .344 hitting percentage and 349 digs, which was second best on the team, this season.
Now, she will begin competing once again for the Atlanta Boom before beginning her career at Coastal Carolina, where she plans to major in kinesiology.