London Central's Lassetter heads DODDS-Europe volleyball team
December 20, 2003
Black Forest Academy’s Maria Golike, Aviano’s Erin Hassan and SHAPE’s Alice Masutti are repeat selections for the 2003 DODDS-Europe high school volleyball team.
But even before the selection committee received the nominations, one name was practically penciled in: Nicole Lassetter.
There was no way keep the London Central senior, who was last season’s female athlete of the year, from making the roster again.
“She’s greatly evolved as a player and leader,” said London Central coach Susan Payne, whose senior anchor helped the Lady Bobcats repeat as European Division III champions. “When the season started, I didn’t think we had a chance because we had so many young players in key positions. Nicole bore a lot of leadership responsibilities.”
Lassetter performed flawlessly, said Payne, who was a member of the selection committee. She helped position her less-experienced teammates perfectly and advised them of how to handle every situation on the floor, Payne added.
The stats are staggering.
Lassetter averaged 18 kills, two blocks and four aces per match in the regular season. In the shorter tournament matches, she averaged 13 kills, 1.5 blocks and three aces.
“She has such vision on the floor,” Payne said. “She sees the game in slow motion. She knows where everyone is on the floor and can pick apart a defense. I’ve seen her do it.”
To Lassetter, court awareness is no big deal.
“I’ve always been one of those people who knows what’s going on around them,” she said.
Despite all the accolades she’s received, Lassetter said she was honored to be selected for this year’s All-Europe team.
“It’s a big deal for me,” she said. “It kind of proves to myself that I belong on the team — that making it last year wasn’t a fluke.”
Lassetter leads a senior-dominated first team. Seven of the players selected completed their final seasons last fall.
A few underclassmen made the first team, including a trio of juniors: SHAPE’s Masutti, who made the second team as a freshman in 2001; Aviano’s AuBree Mariz, and Bitburg’s Nadia Parker, a second-teamer in 2002.
Heidelberg sophomore Natasha Holan, and Frankfurt International School freshman Lindsey Albert round out the team.
The selection committee was composed of Pam Hillestad of Aviano, Payne of London Central, Richard McWilliams of Bitburg, Todd Taylor of Patch, Rich Bennett of Heidelberg and John Sullivan of Würzburg.
2003 All-Europe volleyball team
ame School Class Position Stats/Coach’s comment
Lindsey Albert Frankfurt Int. Sch. Fr. Outside hitter 10.5 kills per match; 95 percent server / Tom Callahan: “One of the top five players in DODDS.”
Megan Brousseau Heidelberg Sr. Defense 84 percent server / Rich Bennett: “Can pass, set, hit and serve on highest level.”
Maria Golike* Black Forest Acad. Sr. Outside hitter 137 kills in 341 tries; led team with 30 digs / Pat Woodward: “Best hitter, passer and defensive player on team.”
Erin Hassan* Aviano Sr. Outside hitter 153 aces; 98 percent server at Europeans / Hans Hillestad: “Great all-around player. Doesn’t make mistakes.”
atasha Holan Heidelberg So. Outside hitter 114 kills in 283 tries; 29 blocks / Bennett: “Excellent technique; excels in spiking, blocking and dinking.”
icole Lassetter* London Central Sr. Middle blocker 18 kills, 2 blocks 4 aces per match / Susan Payne: “Intimidates with spiking power and blocking presence.”
AuBree Mariz Aviano Jr. Setter 357 assists in 89 sets / Hillestad: “Ran offense and serve-receive; provided great energy and motivation.”
Alice Masutti* SHAPE Jr. Outside hitter 32 aces, 22 blocks 107 kills in 42 games / Pam Bartelle: “Excels in all positions; outstanding leadership.”
Jennifer Morton Ramstein Sr. Setter 268 assists; 18 percent of serves for aces / Shanon Bryant: “Clutch player; only one to run ‘quick’ sets.”
adia Parker** Bitburg Jr. Outside hitter 55 kills, 8 blocks at Europeans / Richard McWilliams: “Power spike speaks for itself; one of best defenders.”
Denisse Rivera Heidelberg Sr. Outside hitter 103 kills in 297 tries; 45 blocks / Bennett: “Hits so hard she’s rarely blocked; great dink keeps foe off-balance.”
Jennifer Velez Würzburg Sr. Outside hitter 82 percent hitting; 91 serving / John Sullivan: “Like having second coach in game; makes teammates better.”
Black Forest Acad.
Mary Beth Tittle
*first team in 2002; **second team in 2002