|"Nothing but Net!" That basketball phrase uttered by sportscasters everywhere has had a double--meaning for Bellarmine Prep's Claire Martin whose high school volleyball career was combined with one in basketball to cause her to spend more time around "the net" than she did anywhere else in the gym.
The result was a genuine "win--win". Claire led the Lions volleyball team to three straight state championships, was the TAC's Athlete of the Year in the sport, was honored on almost every all--league, all--tournament, and all--state team imaginable, was offered a PAC--12 scholarship to Washington State ... and she became a "Coug" in the Fall.
She had 110 blocks in her senior season, including 23 in the state tournament. Bellarmine coach Jodi DeGroot talks about her in this way ... "A middle that takes hitters out of the game helps your team win. They start trying to hit around her, or over her, and that's not going to work out well". In Martin's case, not much worked out well at all for her opponents.
In basketball, Martin was the center of attention as well. She led the Lions in rebounding with a career 792 while scoring 901 points, and she was prominent in Bellarmine's success at the state tournament in the Tacoma Dome. In a 51--35 victory over Skyview, which sent the Lions into a fourth place game, she had 19 points, 12 rebounds, and six blocked shots. She was All--Narrows League for three years and the News Tribune's All--Area Team twice on her way to four state tournament appearances.
In volleyball, Claire was a three--year starter when they won those three straight state titles. In three years "in the middle" she did not experience losing a varsity dual match and that led to three Narrows League crowns and three West Central District titles.
Basketball had been her primary sport until her Freshman year at Bellarmine but a year of JV volleyball triggered her interest and she "tried really hard. Practiced. Watch videos of volleyball. Went to a summer camp at the UW." She found out that she really liked volleyball.
"I was playing basketball since kindergarten, so I grew--up playing basketball, and I expected myself to go to college playing basketball", she remembers, "then I found a liking to volleyball".
There is no question that volleyball took a liking to her.