FAIRBORN — Selfless. Generous. Altruistic. Ungrudging. Magnanimous.
While it sounds like a progression of words in a spelling bee, they are actually adjectives that can be used to describe Samantha Hart. The Fairborn senior volleyball player personifies those words and more with her giving spirit.
Off the court, she can be found helping out at a FISH pantry or volunteering her time at the Brookville Fire Department in the cadet program, while finding time to be involved in other school clubs. On the court, you’ll see Hart in the Skyhawk back row as the libero, saving points with digs and setting up points with passes.
Whatever needs to be done. She’s on it. Much like her dad, Jim, who is a firefighter/paramedic in Brookville and Riverside, and her mom, Amanda, who is also a willing volunteer wherever and whenever.
“I just always want to be just caring and always be there,” said Hart, who is among the Miami Valley League’s leaders in two key categories. “I’m a big sister so I think it’s just kind of natural that I just want to help everybody out the best I can. Just to be with people and be able to help the community. Like make a difference here.”
In her four years on the Fairborn varsity team, Hart has made a difference. In the five seasons before she began her high school career, Fairborn never won more than five league matches, and did that just once.
In Hart’s first two seasons, Fairborn won eight and seven games in the Greater Western Ohio Conference. Last year Fairborn was 10-8 in the inaugural season of the rebooted Miami Valley League.
Fellow seniors Madisyn Durbin, Chariti Taylor, and LeeAnn Williams have also been key contributors. But Hart has been a key cog, especially this season as injuries and COVID-19 restrictions have contributed to Fairborn’s 4-8 record heading into last night’s match at Troy.
“She holds us up,” said second-year coach Beatriz Ortega-Estrada. “She’s a huge influence, especially to a lot of our JV girls. Her positive attitude all the time. She never really gives up on herself, never gives up on her teammates. The way she carries the team itself is always positive. It’s always reinforced as positive reinforcement to everybody. If she’s in a happy mood, everybody tries to stay up to that level.”
Hart’s play this season is certainly on another level. Prior to last night, Hart led the MVL with 236 digs and 801 passes. For her career, she has 1,087 digs and 3,442 passes.
A dig is basically stopping a hard hit (kill) by the opponent and a pass is any other type of initial hit after the opponent hits the ball into her side, usually after a serve. In either case, it begins the process of Fairborn trying to score a point.
Not the most glamorous of positions, as kills and aces score the most points, But Hart doesn’t mind.
“Most of it is knowing that if I wasn’t there to pick up the serve-receive or the digs that we wouldn’t be able to make the kill or get the points,” she said. “My part is crucial.”
Crucial for others to have success.
“She always thinks of others before herself,” Ortega-Estrada said. “She doesn’t have a very huge attitude. As much help as she can really give, she’s there. She’s very proactive.”
Proactive. Another word for Hart.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.