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Molly Jandris of Sachem East a volleyball star on the rise

Volleyball comes naturally for Molly Jandris.

The Sachem East freshman said she never played the game before seventh grade, but went out for the team because she had nothing better to do.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Once she made the committment, Jandris played on the Long Island Fury, Sachem East coach Amanda Schmohl's club team, to develop her skills on the court. Schmohl praised Jandris as one of the quickest athletic studies she had ever seen, as she was able to learn most of the game within just a few months.

By eighth grade, Jandris was ready for a chance with the high school varsity team. Schmohl kept her on junior varsity for just three short weeks to acclimate to the speed of the game before promoting her to varsity, which is not something she does frequently.

"I only do it in rare cases," said Schmohl, who has coached in the district for 16 years. "I've never had a kid I felt I could bring up before."

Though 6-feet tall, Jandris had a hard time transitioning.

"I remember the first time I got to play during a game, I was really nervous," Jandris said. "The seniors helped me overcome my fear of being on the court. After a couple of games, I started to get more confident and started playing well."

Jandris only started in spurts during her first year on varsity, but she played well enough overall to earn Suffolk League I Rookie of the Year honors. She said she didn't think she was good enough to earn the award.

The star-in-the-making is now 6-2, playing both outside and on the right. Her coach says she is the type of player who attracts attention on the court.

"She can walk into any gym and any coach would recognize her just by her presence," Schmohl said.

A lefty hitter, Jandris is a coach's dream. Schmohl said having someone who hits with her left hand is an advantage because lefties are quirky, especially in volleyball. They have swings that are difficult to block and even more difficult to predict.

But that's just part of what makes Jandris successful.

"She's a phenomenal athlete," Schmohl said. "She's not afraid to get hurt. She doesn't hesitate. She's becoming a more tactical player."

Jandris is already lighting up the stat sheet in Sachem East's 3-0 start in League I (3-2 overall). Though Tuesday, she had 38 kills, 18 digs, 13 aces and 10 blocks.

"I think hitting and getting more into serving," Jandris said of the fundamentals she needs to improve. "I should definitely work on having a better attitude on the court. I'm hard on myself. I get angry easily."

That fire is what could propel Jandris to even more success, and Schmohl said Jandris could be one of the best.

"She's going to be the player that all the other players in my program want to be," Schmohl said. "By the time she's a senior, everyone's going to know who she is."

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