Snyder Makes Crucial Contributions for the Cougars
Audrey Snyder is an all-around athlete at Haddam-Killingworth High School, and she made her presence known for the Cougars on the volleyball court this fall. A senior captain, Audrey helped H-K claim its second-straight Shoreline Conference title on its way to a record of 19-5 with her solid play at the outside hitter position.
Audrey recorded 267 kills with 86 digs and a team-leading 63 aces for the Cougars this year. The senior captain credits her focus and positive mindset as key factors behind her success during the 2021 season.
“One of my favorite sayings is, ‘How can you make today better if you’re stuck on yesterday?’ This resonates in my playing by having positive self-talk, which results in confidence in myself and knowing that I can fix whatever mistakes I make,” says Audrey. “Just as important, this mindset applies to how I treat my teammates by always having positive things to say to them. Everyone on the court is trying their best, so you should always appreciate the good, instead of focusing on the bad.”
There were plenty of good things happening for H-K on court this season. The Cougars made it back to the Shoreline Conference final, where they defended their title by earning a 3-0 win versus Hale-Ray. Audrey’s favorite moment of the campaign came when H-K notched a 3-1 victory over East Hampton in a home match at the beginning of the year.
“It was one of my best games, and I felt proud of myself. More than that, I felt overwhelmingly happy that I was able to perform for my team,” Audrey says. “After that game, one of the freshmen on the team texted me about how she has been able to look up to me this season, and I think that’s the most rewarding aspect about being a senior captain.”
Head Coach Robin Callender calls Audrey one of H-K’s top players and considers her a vital leader in the program. Callender saw Audrey perform her best for the Cougars on the state stage this year.
“Audrey had her best game of the season in the quarterfinal of the State Tournament against Seymour,” says Callender. “She played well all season long for us, and she was always a dependable asset on our roster.”
Audrey appreciates how Coach Callender puts her heart into the program. Callender’s selflessness has given Audrey the confidence to become both a better player and person.
“I greatly appreciate her for always having our players interests and safety as a top priority,” Audrey says of Callender. “Through every season, I’ve felt that I can come to her with anything, and she’ll stand by me through whatever it is. Especially this year, our lines of communication were extremely open and helpful as I navigated being friends with the girls on my team, but also their captain.”
Aside from volleyball, Audrey plays for softball squad at Haddam- Killingworth. She’s set to lead the Cougars as a senior captain in the 2022 spring season. Audrey also competes for the Husky Volleyball club team during the winter.
“Since freshman year, I have played for the Husky Volleyball club, and one of my greatest accomplishments through that program is being moved up a team every year,” says Audrey. “For each age level, there are three teams based on skill. Freshman year I started on the lowest one, sophomore year I got onto the second team, and junior year I was placed on the top team.”
Following the COVID-shortened season in 2020, Audrey felt cautious entering her senior volleyball campaign this year. Audrey’s goal was for H-K to complete a full and healthy season, and the Cougars were able to accomplish that mission, while continuing their run of success.
“COVID definitely made last year more stressful than this year,” Audrey says. “Luckily, we had no major issues with COVID this year or last year besides the annoyance of wearing masks, which is a small price to pay to keep our team safe.”