Athlete of the Fall — Volleyball

22 12 2010

The San Mateo Daily Journal Volleyball Player of the Year is … Michelle Neumayr (DUHH! COME ON! CAM NEWTON NO-BRAINER STATUS). I’m a huge Neumayr fan. In the 6 years that I’ve been around San Mateo county sports she’s my second favorite volleyball player (shout out to Justine Record, Carlmont, who takes the title because she was a lefty). But I’ve never seen a more dominating outside hitter than Neumayr. Funny story, when she broke in as a freshman and I covered a Burlingame volleyball game, I misspelled her name, thinking it was missing an “E” at the end. That was embarrassing. I did however apologize for that. Now, four years later, the girl will be playing volleyball for the national runner-up Cal Bear. Anyway, here’s how we commemorated her accomplishment today —

Gotta say, this will be the second day in a row where I can say I’m pretty freakin’ happy with the end result. I mentioned about the source material — with Neumayr there were much better photos available BUT they have a net in her face. So, how do you remove a net from a volleyball player’s body? Lots of time, and lots of CLONE TOOL. Lots. Here is the original photo. As you can see, net everywhere, the lighting wasn’t terrific, blah blah blah. We’ll get into the process more at later time.

As the illustration mentions, this is the second time she’s won the Daily Journal Player of the Year. Two years ago we did a superhero thing with her. You can find that here.

The story, written by Josh Koehn, is great too. Here’s a little after the jump …

… In addition to being able to play alongside her friends this season, Neumayr said committing to Cal during her junior year alleviated a lot of pressure.

“It was a really good feeling to know that I already had plans for college, and I didn’t have to worry about anything but my season,” she said.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, the dream season didn’t end exactly like they wanted. Burlingame lost to Valley Christian in a five-set upset of the Division III playoff’s second round. There were some extenuating circumstances, as the Panthers had to play at Valley Christian despite holding a higher seed. Also, Neumayr was ill the entire week leading up to the match.

“We didn’t come with our best game,” Erle said. “Michelle had not practiced all week. I think in that game she was the best player on the court, but she wasn’t as dominant as she could be. We just didn’t play well, though. I can’t make any excuses.”

And the rest can be found here.

Tomorrow, water polo. Boys and Girls. Now that one was an adventure!

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