Monday, May 17, 2021

Sports Person of the Week

Ott Hill Sets a Positive Tone for Guilford Volleyball

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Eva Ott Hill is leading the Guilford volleyball team as both a senior captain and a setter this season. Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Eva Ott Hill is leading the Guilford volleyball team as both a senior captain and a setter this season. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

Eva Ott Hill is a leader both on and off the court as a senior captain for the Guilford volleyball squad. Eva runs the Indians’ offense as their setter, and her vision on the court is one of the main reasons why Guilford is off to a 5-0 start this fall.

Eva worked her way into the starting lineup as a junior last season, helping the Indians finish with a record of 20-6, while advancing to the quarterfinals of the Class L State Tournament. This year, Eva is enjoying the experience of leading a team that has excellent chemistry.

“There’s an amazing group of girls on this team. It’s the main reason why we’ve been this successful,” says Eva. “We’re all friends. The overall team chemistry is there. We mesh well together.”

Eva started playing volleyball when she was in 5th grade. She decided to step on the court after receiving encouragement from her mother Kate, who also played volleyball in high school.

“I first went to the Guilford volleyball camp to learn the game,” Eva says. “I kept studying and playing through middle school and looked forward to playing in high school.”

Eva was a JV player for the Indians until last year. In her junior season, she averaged 21.6 assists per match to go with 37 service aces for Head Coach Laura Anastasio’s club.

“Being a setter really forces Eva to lead all six players out there,” says Anastasio. “It’s her responsibility to set the tone and try and control the flow of the game.”

Eva welcomes that responsibility. She gets a rewarding feeling from setting up her teammates to strike.

“I have to know where to go with the ball and to be able to do it at any given time,” Eva says. “You always have to study the defense and see where the holes are in their alignment. It’s very in the moment.”

Guilford’s primary hitters are Emily Brouder, Emma Appleman, Carson Halbower, and Megan McNamara. Eva feels confident that any one of them can hammer home her set for the kill.

“Every one of them is a great player,” says Eva. “They all make me look good.”

Eva’s contributions to Guilford volleyball go beyond what takes place on the court. In July, Eva organized the team’s annual car wash fundraiser that raised nearly $1,000.

“Our entire team was involved,” Eva says. “We worked very hard and even got lots of drivers to have their cars washed whether they were dirty or not.”

Eva is also a key contributor to a website on which people can purchase Guilford Athletics apparel. By visiting spiritshop.com and searching for Guilford, anyone can buy a variety of items to help support the Indians.

“People can visit the site, then shop and buy through a store link, and have everything delivered,” says Eva.

Eva’s efforts have certainly been noticed by Coach Anastasio, who describes her senior setter as an ideal role model for her squad.

“Eva is a great leader,” Anastasio says. “You not only see it on the court. She’s the type of individual who’s gotten involved in so many outside activities like the car wash and the website.”

Eva is also a high honors student who takes Advanced Placement courses at Guilford High School. She’s planning on studying sociology and criminology in college with a long-term goal of working in law enforcement.

Right now, though, Eva is focused on helping the Guilford volleyball team have a great campaign that culminates with more postseason success.

“Our team obviously wants to win. Our goals are having a winning record and making both the SCC playoffs and the State Tournament,” says Eva. “But we never overlook having fun in doing it. It goes hand in hand with this team.”


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