Nov. 2, 2009
When senior Lady Techster volleyball player Samantha Crowder was asked what it is she brings to the team, with no hesitation she replied, "Comedy."
"I make everybody laugh," Crowder said. "There is not a day that goes by that I don't make somebody on our team laugh. What can I say, I'm a goofball. Sometimes it gets me in trouble, but I think it's all worth it."
Although Crowder has a lively, comedic personality it doesn't take long in talking to her to figure out she brings much more to the Lady Techsters than just comedy.
The senior has shown she is not just comedy while on the court, recording over 500 kills in her career and she currently ranks in the top ten in Tech history for career blocks. Crowder has played a pivotal role this season in helping the Techsters to their best start since 2005 while leading the team with a .288 hitting percentage. Tech head coach Matt Sonnichsen believes she is a rare, complete player at the middle blocker position.
"Sam can hit any of the middle attack options, blocks extremely well, has quick footwork and an excellent vertical jump," Sonnichsen said. "She has been a great senior, providing a happy demeanor to keep her team mates relaxed during the challenges of our season. It is a big plus for our team to have the talent of Sam available and she has excelled at coming into games at key junctions to provide a big swing or block."
In addition to her ability on the court, Crowder provides a different element off the court for her team in leadership.
"I try to be like a big sister on the team," Crowder said. "I'm always giving advice to teammates and they know I'm always there for all of them. If someone is down I'll be there to encourage them and make them feel better and I'm always there to deal with any issues within the team. I'm open with everybody so anybody who knows me knows everything about me which I think makes it easier for them to open up to me and tell me if something is wrong."
The Floresville, Texas native says she shares this big sister role with her senior teammates Lindsay Armstrong and KC Clayton as well.
"I think this senior class has incredible leadership abilities," Crowder said. "I think it's because we've been through so much together. We have been through the worst of the worst of the worst together here at Tech and now that we are having some success we know we can't take what we have for granted. We don't let anybody on the team take anything for granted either."
Crowder also illustrates her passion for her school and the game while reminiscing about Tech's home opening tournament earlier this year. In the final match of the tournament Tech had to beat South Alabama, who was undefeated at the time, in straight sets to be crowned tournament champions and that is just what they did topping the Jaguars 25-20, 27-25 and 25-22. Crowder led the team with an impressive .500 hitting percentage in the win over USA.
"Knowing the only way we could win the championship was to win in straight sets and then to pull it off was a great feeling," Crowder said. "Coach Teresa Weatherspoon (Techster basketball coach) came in and gave us an unbelievable pre-game speech stressing the importance of winning in front of your home crowd, defending our home court and the pride we have in our program. Everything she says gives me goose bumps, she is so inspiring and I think the whole team felt that way. It was just an amazing feeling being able to hold my finger up to the alma mater in pride after a win like that."
Comedy is defined in Merriam-Webster's dictionary as simply humorous entertainment. It's pretty safe to say that Tech's Samantha Crowder brings much more to the table than just humorous entertainment.