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Volleyball Athlete of the Season: Winnisquam’s Shannon Goodwin

  • Winnisquam’s Shannon Goodwin follows through on one of her kills against Inter-Lakes at the Division III Volleyball Championships on Friday, November 2, 2018 at Plymouth State. GEOFF FORESTER

  • Winnisquam’s Shannon Goodwin takes a swing during her illustrious girls’ volleyball career with the Bears. She finished as the program’s all-time leader in both kills (845) and digs (559). Monitor file

  • Winnisquam's Shannon Goodwin (8) slaps the ball as Inter-Lakes's Emma Wheeler (9) attempts a block during Wednesday's volleyball game at Winnisquam Regional High School on Oct. 18, 2017. Inter-Lakes defeated Winnisquam, 3-1. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz

  • Winnisquam’s Olivia Dill (white bandanna) leads the celebration after the Bears capped their undefeated season with a win over Interlakes for the Division III Volleyball Championship at Plymouth State on Friday night, November 2, 2018. GEOFF FORESTER

Monitor staff
Published: 11/9/2018 12:40:54 AM

Every athlete dreams of going out on top. Few actually get the chance to do it like Shannon Goodwin.

When the senior walked off the court at Plymouth State University last Friday for the final time in a Winnisquam uniform, she left with a second straight Division III volleyball championship in hand and a perfect 19-0 season to match. She was the MVP of that final against Inter-Lakes, dominating with 20 kills and 17 digs in the biggest match of the year and capped off her career as one of the best players to ever do it for the Bears.

“She’s probably one of the most complete players I’ve ever had,” said Winnisquam coach Mike Livernois, who’s seen his fair share of talent in his 24 years at the helm of the program. “When you look at a player that is one of your top defensive players and your top offensive player, those don’t come around very often.”

Goodwin, who according to her coach has earned a third straight First Team All-State selection in Division III, finished as the program’s all-time leader in both kills (845) and digs (559).

She became the first Winnisquam player to ever surpass 500 digs when she recorded 23 of them in a win over Moultonborough on Oct. 16 and smashed the previous kills record of 700 with 265 kills in her senior season.

“She’s just done everything the right way and has worked really hard at it,” Livernois said. “It’s not an accident that she’s as good as she is. It’s something she’s really put in the work for.”

All that work started years ago, even before Goodwin emerged as a useful weapon off the bench for Winnisquam during her freshman season in 2015.

“I’m always the type of person to work hard and focus on something,” Goodwin said. “So all the way through middle school and high school I always had a volleyball in my hand. I would hit it against the garage door in my house. My parents would tell me to stop, but I just wanted to get as many touches on the ball as I could.”

Goodwin played sporadically during her first season under Livernois, but it had less to do with her skill and more to do with the talent around her.

By the time her sophomore year came around, Goodwin was an emerging star as an outside hitter, upping her kills from 12 in 2015, to 288 in 2016.

“She jumped right from being a part-time bench player on a loaded team to, in her sophomore year, becoming the primary hitter and the offense was kind of built around her,” Livernois said. “She kind of took that and ran with it as a sophomore and she’s maintained and gotten better at the same time.

“Where as in her sophomore year she would get really frustrated if she got blocked once or twice, now it’s, ‘Okay, well I’ll just hit around it, hit over it and find another way to score a point here.’ She’s been remarkably consistent for the last three years,” Livernois said.

Goodwin’s leadership on the court also spilled over to the locker room.

She was Winnisquam’s captain for the second straight year this season, and according to Livernois, left a lasting impression on the team with her demeanor.

“Anybody can go tell somebody else what to do, but when you’re the one who is always at practice, always working on those things, always striving to improve even when you’ve been an All-State player for three years, that sets an example for the other kids,” Livernois said. “They look at her and say, ‘Wow, if she’s already accomplished all this and she’s still out there pushing every day, then I guess I have to do that, too.’ And the whole team played that way.”

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3371, or on Twitter

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