By Brandon Judeh
Excitement filled the air at Canfield High Thursday night. Not only did the Cardinals’ volleyball team defeat Poland 3-0, but it was senior night and one senior went out on top.
Early in the second game, with the score 2-1 Poland, Sabrina Mangapora made what appeared to be one of her usual earth-shattering spikes to add yet another kill to her resume.
But this one was special.
The packed crowd erupted in delight as Mangapora earned her 1,000th career kill.
A humble Mangapora credited her teammates, many of whom she has played with since junior high.
“It feels awesome to achieve this milestone, but I wouldn’t have reached it without my teammates,” she said. “I just want to thank them because this would never have happened without them.”
Mangapora, who already owns the Canfield career and season records in kills and is the first in school history to reach 1,000, said she hopes future players coming through Canfield’s volleyball system can look at her record and use it as motivation.
“I hope that down the road others will see my record and know that they can also accomplish this and do great things,” said Mangapora.
Twin teammates Jacqueline and Anastasia Cook said Mangapora has worked hard and deserves the accolades.
“We have been playing with Sabrina for a long time, she’s an unbelievable player,” said Jacqueline.
“But more importantly a great teammate,” added Anastasia. “She always has a positive attitude and supports everyone on the team. We love her.”
Fellow senior Nicole Luklan agreed.
“I have watched her grow over the years and it was great to see her get what she deserves,” Luklan said.
Perhaps the most excited person in the building was her younger brother and biggest fan, Mason Mangapora.
“I can’t explain to you how happy I was when they announced that she reached her 1,000th kill,” he said. “I’m so proud of her, seeing her do this motivates me to work hard and accomplish my goals.”
Mangapora finished the game with 20 kills, giving her 1,008 for her career.
The game was all Canfield (14-3, 8-0 All-American Conference) from start to finish, as it swept the Bulldogs 25-19, 25-20, 25-17.
A critical moment came in the second match when Canfield was down by five and seemed to be flat, but after a timeout the Cardinals stole the match and the momentum.
Leading the way for Poland was Aleah Hughes with 12 kills and 25 digs and Kayla Smith added 21 assists.
Freshman Emma Hartshorn had an impressive game for Canfield with 26 assists, while Rachel Rafoth chipped in with 26 digs.
So what is next for Mangapora?
Another 1,000-point milestone, this time in basketball in which she needs fewer than 15 points to achieve the feat.