Saxons Expect to Profit From Plenty of Experience

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By Matthew Stanmyre
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, September 6, 2007

With seven seniors back from a team that won 19 straight matches last season, there is plenty to be excited about at Langley this year. But what really excites the Saxons' leader -- All-Met senior setter Megan Shifflett -- is the prospect of a change.

"I get to hit this year," Shifflett said. "Hitting is a blast; it's just so fun. It's so easy to get caught up in it."

Shifflett, who is versatile and athletic enough to play just about anywhere on the court, occasionally will move to outside hitter, thanks to the development of another setter, sophomore Rebecca Lee. It's a spot in which the Saxons feel Shifflett can contribute with her leaping ability and knack for finding holes in the defense.

"She's a gamer," said Langley Coach Susan Shifflett, who is Megan's mother. "When the pressure's on, she'll step in and do what needs to be done."

That's what Shifflett did last season, when she compiled gaudy numbers -- 687 assists, 201 digs and 100 aces -- en route to Northern Region player of the year honors. The Saxons also thrived, completing a perfect regular season before a pair of untimely losses -- to Stone Bridge in the Liberty District final and Centreville in the second round of the region tournament.

That disappointment has fueled Langley, especially Shifflett.

"That was really rough because we had a lot of expectations for ourselves, and we didn't come through when it counted," said Shifflett, who will walk on at Penn State next year. "That really shaped our goals and our drive for this season. We don't want to do that again. We want to come through when it counts."

"Being a senior, she knows that this has got to be her team," Susan Shifflett said. "If we're going to do something, it's now."

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