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Setting an example with a smile
by Damian Tromerhauser
Oct 11, 2012 | 2666 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune file photo - Spanish Springs setter Lyndsey Anderson was the Northern 4A Player-of-the-Year as a junior last fall. Now as a senior, she's helping the Cougars to another standout season.
Tribune file photo - Spanish Springs setter Lyndsey Anderson was the Northern 4A Player-of-the-Year as a junior last fall. Now as a senior, she's helping the Cougars to another standout season.
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Tribune file photo - Spanish Springs senior Lyndsey Anderson has earned first-team all-league honors as a sophomore and junior the past two winters. She'll be ready to help the Cougars into the postseason again when a new hoops season tips off next month.
Tribune file photo - Spanish Springs senior Lyndsey Anderson has earned first-team all-league honors as a sophomore and junior the past two winters. She'll be ready to help the Cougars into the postseason again when a new hoops season tips off next month.
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When the Spanish Springs High School volleyball team finds itself in trouble during a match, head coach Frank Sandomenico will call a timeout to get his squad on the right page. Instead of the coach giving the girls a pep talk though, Sandomenico will tell his team to talk amongst itself on the court. Rather than the players getting on one another though, you will see the Cougars huddle and share some needed laughter, which usually means senior setter and outside hitter Lyndsey Anderson is cracking jokes.

“In those situations we’re trying to stay loose,” Anderson said. “We get too uptight sometimes so our approach is too joke around or something to stay loose, so I think that’s part of my leadership. I try to make everybody comfortable and get into their groove.”

The same routine that Anderson uses to keep her and the rest of the Cougs relaxed during crucial points in the match is the same that she uses before the contest, often joking back and forth with teammates.

“I try not to get too nervous. I just like to stay cool. There’s definitely a lot of joking around,” she said.

Once on the court though, it is not all fun and games for Anderson.

“In games, she’s a great leader and a great competitor,” Sandomenico said. “She keeps the girls from getting too high or too low. In practices, she makes everyone better because she’s always working hard. She never takes a break. It’s amazing how you see her in the hallways at school and she’s just this great kid walking around, happy-go-lucky and then she gets on the court and she’s a whole other person. It’s pretty fun to watch.”

Anderson, who also plays a key role on the Cougar girls basketball team, has been bringing that happy tenacity to the court since she was young. In the first grade, she began playing basketball before trying her hand at volleyball in the seventh grade. Heading into her first volleyball season though, Anderson had some experience under her belt.

“I had been playing volleyball in the backyard with my mom since like the fifth grade,” Anderson said. “It was fun because my mom played volleyball at UNR. She taught me how to play and it was kind of like a bonding experience for us. She definitely influenced me and my game.

“When I finally got on a team and got in that atmosphere, that’s when I really realized I loved volleyball. I thought it was hard at first and that kind of intrigued me because I had been playing basketball so I had gotten used to that. It was like a new challenge and I wanted to get better at it.”

That intrigue and desire to improve has rewarded Anderson in a number of ways, from great experiences and memories to a collegiate opportunity.

Like her mom and dad, Anderson will follow in her parents’ footsteps and run with the Pack at the University of Nevada, having verbally committed to the Silver and Blue volleyball squad.

“I’m really excited. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m excited I get to stay home still and just be in Reno and everyone can come watch. I think it’s going to be really fun,” Anderson said. “Other schools were looking at me, but I think I always knew I wanted to go to UNR. It’s at home. My mom played volleyball there and my dad played baseball there, so it’s kind of in the blood, but I just wanted to go there. They definitely wanted me to choose where I wanted to go, and that’s where I wanted to go. They’re just happy that I got the opportunity.”

When Anderson takes her game to Nevada, she will be sure to bring with her the charismatic personality that so many are quick to point out.

“It’s funny because when I first met her, they said her nickname was ‘Sunshine,’ because she was always smiling,” Sandomenico said. “She’s an awesome kid, straight ‘A’ student. It’s awesome to have her because she always has a smile on her face and she’s always happy to be around. Then when she’s on the court, it’s this whole other person that’s just competitive and willing to do anything to win. When things go bad, she has a great way of hiding it even though you know she’s dying on the inside.”

Along with her bright smile and outlook, Anderson will also provide the Wolf Pack with plenty of leadership and a winning attitude.

“Lyndsey is definitely a lead by example kid for us,” Spanish Springs girls basketball coach Christine Eckles said. “She always works extremely hard and runs the game plan. She’s the type of kid that is never afraid to fail so she’s willing in any situation to step up and say ‘Give me the ball.’ She always wants to make something positive happen. She leads by example and every once in a while if she has to, she’ll get on the kids and when she does it’s very powerful because she backs it up with her actions.

“She’s just really one-of-a-kind. She’s a special kid to coach. Her work ethic is top notch. I don’t even know if I could name three other kids that work the way that she does. Every day she gives you everything that she has. It’s very special. Her commitment is great. You can’t really ask any more from a kid than that. She doesn’t take anything for granted. She’s a great teammate and just an honor to coach because of those things.”

The responsibility of being a leader is not something that Anderson takes lightly.

“It’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s fun. You always have to perform well and be there for your teammates and you can’t let them see you down to keep them going, so it’s a lot of responsibility, but I enjoy it.”

For now though, Anderson will keep the Wolf Pack on hold as she focuses on the Cougars’ season.

“First for the team, our goal is definitely to win the regional title and make it to state,” she said. “Individually, I just want to keep improving from what I’ve built up and help the team reach our goal. I definitely want to be a more all-around player and work on my thinking. Setting is a lot of thinking, so it’s going to take a lot of time to be very good at that. That’s one area that I really want to improve.”

With the team sights set on a regional crown, Anderson can just imagine the moment Spanish Springs takes the trophy.

“I can picture it, and it’s pretty good.”
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