GAC's Komisarow shines through despite tough competition

NORCROSS - When you play in the same classification - and sometimes even the same area - as a powerhouse like Wesleyan that features such dominant players as Betsy Smith and Anne Marie Armstrong, it's sometimes hard to get noticed.

But ask any opponent of the GAC volleyball team the past two seasons and they will probably know exactly who Amanda Komisarow is.

For the past two seasons, the 5-foot-11 senior has been a cornerstone to the Spartans achieving some of its biggest successes in the program's history.

And she's done it by setting school records in kills in both of her varsity seasons, bettering her mark of 401 kills from her sophomore year by pounding down 438 of them last year, which accounts for almost 40 percent of GAC's offense over that time.

Yet, she finished second in the county in that category both seasons - to Smith in 2007 and Armstrong last year.

Still, she hasn't felt like she's taken a backseat to anyone.

"I haven't really thought about it much," Komisarow said. "I've just focused on playing my game and doing what I know I can do. I'm not really focusing on being (Gwinnett's most dominant player)."

It's not as if Komisarow has totally flown under the radar after earning first-team All-County honors by the Daily Post the last two seasons.

She certainly won't be an unknown commodity this season, and it won't only be because of her offensive abilities.

GAC coach Kristy Shelton has watched Komisarow turn into a outstanding all-around player throughout her career, especially after she posted 192 digs and 90 service aces as a junior last year.

And Shelton admits such well-rounded skills aren't something she necessarily saw coming from her star player.

"I taught her in elementary school, and I hate to say this, but I wasn't sure she was that athletic," Shelton said.

"But when she decided volleyball was her game, she put everything into it. She doesn't do anything halfway."

While Komisarow has natural athletic ability, it is Komisarow's drive that Shelton says is one of her two biggest assets.

The other is how consistently that drive keeps going.

"The best thing about Amanda is she's the same every day," Shelton said. "It's been such a blessing to coach her because when she comes into the gym for practice, it's the same Amanda from yesterday.

"And when she shows up for a match, it's the same Amanda from practice. That makes it a pleasure to coach her because you know what you're going to get."

Perhaps that is why Komisarow has not only emerged as one of Gwinnett's top players this season, but also one of its most sought out players for the next level.

But with a grade point average over 4.0 and an eye towards studying to become an orthodontist one day, Komisarow is looking at colleges with high standards like Pennsylvania, Emory, Princeton, Harvard, Rutgers, Washington University in St. Louis, Georgetown and MIT for more than just volleyball.

"I want a school that has good balance of academics and athletics," Komisarow said.

"I want to find somewhere that I'll get a good education."

After enjoying plenty of success in her high school career - including a trip to the Class AA/A state semifinals two seasons ago and the second round of the sectionals last year, Komisarow wants to make sure she uses the same drive and determination to help her and her Spartan teammates go out winners.

"I want to make sure I go through the season with no regrets and knowing I did the best to help my teammates," Komisarow said.