Team goals come first for Philip Barbour standout

PHILIPPI?- When Nikki Shriver steps onto the volleyball court tonight, it will be the last time the senior standout plays in front of her hometown crowd.

Shriver recently amassed her 1,000th career kill shot, but setting the benchmark for the Colts isn’t her top priority – she wants to win a state championship.

“She’s really fun to watch,” coach Heather Halfin said. “Getting 1,000 kills was never her goal. It’s never about her. It’s always about the team. She wants to win a state championship. That would put the cherry on top for her.”

Shriver reiterated – the state championship is what she is after. Being the only player in the school’s history to get 1,000 kills just isn’t enough.

“It would be amazing to win a state championship,” Shriver said. “We’ve been to the tournament all four years and we’ve had the talent. But I’m more hungry to win, now.

“It’s my last chance and it would be awesome to share that with my teammates and everyone who has supported us.”

The four year starter has played both the front and back row this season. Last season, Shriver was named to the Class AA, all-state first team and All-Big 10 Conference first team. In 2011, she was second team all-state and All-Big 10 first team.

“She’s a quiet leader,” Halfin said. “You won’t see anything more than a smile when she smashes it down in someone’s face. She doesn’t jump up and down and get all excited. She’s very modest. She just does her thing and lets her play speak for itself.”

Shriver downplayed the magnitude of her achievement, saying her teammates are really who deserve the credit because they set the ball for her to slam down. She said special recognition should also go to Morgan Stemler and Shelby Daugherty.

“I have such good players around me, that’s what made it possible,” Shriver said. “Coming into high school, I never dreamed I would accomplish anything like this.”

According to Halfin, watching Shriver grow up and develop into the player she has become has been enjoyable.

“I’ve known her since she was a little girl,” Halfin said. “I’ve watched her grow and get bigger and stronger. I almost feel like a parent, watching her grow up right before my eyes. I’ve very proud of what she has accomplished.”

Aside from being a dominating force for the Colts, Shriver has also been instrumental in teaching solid volleyball skills to the underclassmen.

“She has been a big help teaching the younger girls,” Halfin said. “I think she has given them what they need to fill her shoes.”

The Colts (43-5-3) will participate in a quad match at 5:30 p.m. today against Tyler Consolidated, Morgantown and Buckhannon- Upshur.