INWOOD - Taylor Lord has had quite a junior season.
Musselman's powerful outside hitter recorded her 1,000th kill in September, won a state title earlier this month and now has been named state volleyball player of the year by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
Lord is the third Musselman player to earn the honor, joining Erica Manor and Taylor Allen.
"She's a special player. She affects the game in so many ways," Musselman coach Shawn Martz said. "If you're an average fan, you see how hard she hits the ball, but you might not notice the perfect pass, the digs she makes look easy that aren't easy.
"She has a lot of natural ability, but much of her ability has come through thousands and thousands of repetitions. She's made herself into that. I feel lucky to have her on our side."
Despite receiving much attention for her individual play, Lord, who finished with 567 kills and 293 digs, always has a team mindset and lets the stats fall as they may.
"We don't really see stats as a reward, we see it as a way to pick out what details we need to get better at. That always helps us kind of pick spots where we need to work on," she said.
"You always think about [stats], especially when you have those big stat numbers. At the end of the day, it's all about how you perform, and it's not always about the numbers. I would definitely pick a state championship over having 15 kills in a game."
Coincidentally, she had exactly 15 kills in Musselman's win against Greenbrier East in the Class AAA state championship match, earning the Applemen their third volleyball state title. Prior to that, she notched 12 kills against Capital in the state quarterfinals and 14 kills against Parkersburg in the semifinals.
Winning the state title was even more special for the entire Musselman squad after enduring losses in the championship match in back-to-back seasons.
Two years ago, the Applemen had three ineligible players for the state tournament and lost to Spring Valley in the finals. Last season, Lord was dealing with an injury and Musselman got swept in the final by George Washington.