Dig, set, kill. Dig, set, kill. On its way to a (so far) undefeated season, the Cedar Ridge High School volleyball team has mastered the three-step play of dig, set, kill.
On a team stocked with standouts, Cameron Lloyd, a 5’10” junior, reached a milestone only achievable through consistent dominance. Lloyd slammed her 500th career kill during a match last week, a moment that was announced at the following game. She said she hadn’t realized how close she was to accomplishing the feat.
“My parents were talking about it a little bit,” Lloyd said. “I knew I would hit it versus Carrboro, which was like a week before they presented the award. I didn’t really know I was near it. My parents keep track of all that stuff. I don’t really look at stats so much.”
A ‘kill,’ or a spike is when a player hits the volleyball over the net with such force that the other team is unable to return it. It’s the power play of volleyball, equivalent to a dunk in basketball, or a home run in baseball.
Lloyd averages eight to 12 in each contest. “It feels good to be recognized,” she added. “I’m glad they announced in front of people. It’s good to be recognized. It’s a good feeling. It shows how all my hard work paid off.”
“Cameron Lloyd is somebody who takes advantage of extra reps, takes advantage of extra gym time, takes advantage of any opportunity to get better,” said head coach Fiona Cunningham. “That’s a really good example for other players and how to take advantage of every opportunity you’re given and improve at every opportunity.”
Lloyd said she first started playing around with a volleyball when she was 3-years-old, and played on her first team when she was 7. “I started travel when I was 10, but I’ve been watching the game for a long time. My older sister played, so when I wasn’t playing I was watching her.”
She’s played every year in high school, and plans to continue playing into college. She is being actively recruited, so playing time in college seems quite likely.
But for now, Lloyd is squarely focused on this season and going deep into the state playoffs with her teammates. “School is my top priority. It’s pretty great. A lot of us, like six of us, play on the same travel team, so it shows on this team. It’s pretty great how amazing we are,” she said.
She also gives the team’s coaches credit for creating an environment that allows players to have fun while working hard to reach lofty goals.
“They’re all great coaches and they all have great personalities,” Lloyd said. “They’re great on and off the court. They really connect with us, personally. It’s not always serious and hardcore yelling or anything like that. We know when we need to be serious and we know when we can have fun and goof around and get to know each other.”
Lloyd said several of her teammates will likely join her in crossing the 500-kill milestone. “Cameron Lanier has a lot of kills, and I think she’s definitely reaching for 500. Melissa Benkowitz is another one of our leaders in kills. I think maybe she’ll hit 500 soon,” she said.
Lloyd said she isn’t resting on the laurels of surpassing the 500-kill mark. She has her eyes set on another personal goal. “I definitely want to reach 1,000 before I graduate. That’s my next goal. I just need to keep being consistent during games and keep getting kills.”