The countdown started from 10. “You’re almost there, you have one more, one more!” chanted teammates.
On Thursday, Sept. 14, the Keene State College volleyball team played Trinity College away. In the second set of the game, Rachel Lamica made the accomplishment only four other KSC volleyball players can say they have earned.
“I hit it down the line, and it kind of just flew off of her arms,” said Rachel. That exact point is when she became the fifth volleyball player in history at Keene State College to get 1000 kills.
Rachel said it was intimidating walking into the gym at Trinity College because she had knowledge of that team being prompt on blocking, and all the girls were very tall. “I’m going to get my 1000th kill today, whether it’s easy or difficult,” she said.
When it happened, Coach Bob Weiner called a time-out, and everyone congratulated her, said Rachel.
“We all ran off the court and we were cheering,” said sophomore Jennifer Severino.
“The other team was so confused and didn’t know what was going on; they were all just shocked we ran off the court,” Severino said.
Rachel’s parents were away in Kentucky the date of the game, but they tuned in online to watch the game live.
“We called as a family in Kentucky and shouted out a great accomplishment; Rachel was very emotional about it and so were we all as a family,” said Rachel’s father, Larry Lamica.
Throughout Rachel’s volleyball career in middle school and high school, Larry said they had to “…reach out to the horizons to get her to get better,” because they were from such a small town.
Getting one thousand kills has been one of her goals from the beginning of her career, and now after four years of playing for KSC, she can finally say she accomplished it. “It marks my career here at Keene State,” she said.
Angela Silveri ranks third in all-time kills here at Keene State, with a total of 1,313 kills. Silveri was an outside hitter when Rachel was a first-year. She said she looked up to Silveri.
Early in her volleyball career, Rachel said she thought, “She’s [Silveri] so good there’s no way I can get to where she’s got.” Now it is possible for her to end her season’s total kills ranking close to Silveri.
As the tables turn, current sophomore Severino looks up to Rachel. “She has great vertical [and] she inspires me to jump higher,” said Serverino.
Rachel still has more goals to accomplish before the end of the season. “The next goal is winning [the Little East Conference], staying undefeated and putting the ball to the floor as many times as I can until then,” she said.
Weiner described Rachel as “intense, focused and determined.”
With over 180 kills so far this season, Weiner said she has more kills this season than she did overall as a first-year.
Rachel had a total of 175 kills her first year, and Weiner said he expects her to reach the mid 400’s by the end of the season.
When she came in for preseason in 2014, Weiner said, “We were all aware she was the pick of the litter.”
He continued, “The thing we don’t know is how is she going to take that skill set and become a college volleyball player, and a leader, and a good teammate and that’s the part I’m so happy about; she’s grown as a person,” said Weiner.
To any player who is looking to achieve this same goal, Rachel said, “Just swing hard, try to be smart and it’s not always about the power behind you; it’s where you place the ball and trying to trick the opponent.”
Isabella Harris can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org