Careers continued: South Tahoe volleyball standouts Delacour, Crowson sign with junior college programs
Kendhyl Delacour and Haley Crowson each had goals of playing volleyball following their time at South Tahoe — and the Vikings’ standouts will get that chance. The seniors committed to two-year universities in California, and will continue their careers at the junior college level in the fall.
“It’s really exciting to be able to go out there and show them that South Tahoe has great athletes,” Crowson said. “I’m really proud to be able to represent this town and our school.”
Delacour committed to Cabrillo College (Aptos, Calif.) and Crowson signed with Lassen Community College (Susanville, Calif.). They were two of the three seniors on last year’s Vikings team that went 16-14 overall and finished fifth in Div. I-A Northern League.
“These two kids are kids that have earned everything they’ve gotten and I’m proud of them both,” South Tahoe head coach Dan McLaughlin said.
Delacour had offers from two- and four-year schools throughout the country, and ultimately felt Cabrillo College was the best fit. She signed with the Seahawks during club season, and plans to compete for playing time right away for the program that finished as state runner-up last season.
“I fell in love with the place and the school — I’ve been going to Santa Cruz for family vacations for pretty much my whole childhood,” Delacour said. “I really didn’t want to be that far away from home.”
As a sophomore in 2012, Delacour helped South Tahoe to the Div. I-A state championship. Since then, the talented 5-foot-10-inch outside hitter has been an offensive and defensive force for the Vikings — in 2014 she was an All-League honorable mention selection, finishing with 189 kills and a .390 hitting percentage.
“She has a natural high arm swing, which is something you can’t teach — she reaches very high and has a natural snap of the wrist,” McLaughlin said. “Physically she’s gifted with long arms and good athletic ability — she jumps well and is incredibly fast.”
Delacour’s left-handedness makes her a natural fit on the as the right side hitter in a team’s offense, and that’s where she will play at Cabrillo. On top of her ability, McLaughlin said her attitude toward the game will be an asset at the next level.
“She plays with a lot of fun and makes the game fun for her teammates with her spirit and attitude,” McLaughlin said.
Crowson wasn’t sure if she would play volleyball in college after finishing her senior season at South Tahoe last fall. As a result, she was ecstatic upon receiving the call from Lassen head coach Amy Williamson that ensured she would continue her career collegiately.
“I cried immediately because I’m not a kid that usually has good things happen to me,” Crowson said. “To have that happen and to have her support me and want to come play for her — it made me realize that I’m finally going to get my break.
“It means a lot to me — my sports are my life.”
A 5-foot-10-inch middle hitter, Crowson paved her way to collegiate volleyball through hard work. The senior that also played softball and basketball for the Vikings was determined to make it in her favorite sport.
“Volleyball was one of the first sports I got into, and it was the one thing that really got me engaged — I always wanted to fight for it and do the best I could,” Crowson said. “Every time I start playing volleyball again, I immediately fall back in love with it.”
Crowson’s dedication to the game showed in the improvement of her serving ability over her last two seasons at STHS. As a junior her serving was a liability — as a senior last season, she led South Tahoe in service points and aces with a powerful jump serve that floated with movement.
“She’s blessed with great enthusiasm and great desire to do things right,” McLaughlin said. “To coach Haley is to be a fan of hers — you have to root for her and you have to be a fan of hers. It’s because of sports that Haley has been able to rise above what her background is.”
Both players expressed their gratitude to McLaughlin, who coached them both at South Tahoe and on the club level at Silver State Volleyball Club. They agreed that they became stronger on and off the court because of his influence.
“Danny is the one that really put in time — he was always there for me,” Crowson said. “He showed true love for the sport, and that made me more passionate and made me work even harder.”
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