Senior Millie Groves became the first volleyball player – male or female – to surpass the 1,000-kill mark. (Photos provided courtesy of CB South volleyball)
Millie Groves put her name in the history books, and the Central Bucks South senior isn’t finished yet.
In Tuesday night’s match against Abington, Groves became the first South volleyball player – male or female – to surpass the 1,000-kill mark. The match was halted as Groves – who needed 17 kills – was recognized.
“Everyone ran on the court – it was so exciting,” said Groves, who finished with 28 kills and 18 digs in a brilliant outing.
Making the accomplishment even more impressive is the fact that she did it in the ninth game of her senior season after an abbreviated COVID-19 season last year.
“It’s an incredible accomplishment,” South coach Kurt Godfrey said. “You have thousand-point scorers in basketball, but they get points one, two and three at a time. In volleyball, it’s one at a time.
“I’ve been fortunate the last couple of years to have some really hardworking kids, and Millie tops that list. She is the ultimate competitor. There’s not a play out there where she doesn’t want the ball.
“Normally, we have 22 matches, and last year, we ended up playing 15 with the playoff match, and she still walked out of the season with 250-255 kills.”
Groves entered her final high school season needing 214 kills to reach the magical 1,000-kill plateau.
“Nine games into our season, she hit it,” Godfrey said. “She’s just an incredible athlete. I wish I had 12 of her.”
From the outset, Groves made her presence felt at the varsity level.
“We actually played Millie in the middle her freshman year,” Godfrey said. “She was always a competitor, always wanted the ball. She’s grown into an incredible captain, an incredible teammate.
“She was elected captain as a junior last year and was a returning captain this year. We try to have a junior captain some years just so we can have that continuity. To be able to accomplish this playing middle her freshman year, outside her sophomore, junior and senior year, it truly is inspiring to watch her hit a volleyball and for her to be able to do that this year.”
Listening to the Titans’ coach tell it, the 5-11 Groves is the ultimate finisher at the net.
“You just know when she walks in the gym that you’re looking at an athlete, you can just tell,” Godfrey said. “Over the last couple of years, she’s had an opportunity during her club season to play for some top-notch coaches. The ability for her to take teams – by teams I mean high school teams and club teams – and put them on her back and just say, ‘Give me the ball, I’ve got this’ is just amazing.”
As a youngster, Groves played numerous sports, but once she got a taste of volleyball in fifth grade with St. Joseph/St. Robert CYO, she was hooked.
“I fell in love with volleyball, so I started club,” Groves said.
She got her first taste of the club circuit with GPS Crush 13s and now is a member of East Coast Power in King of Prussia.
The idea of reaching the 1,000-kill milestone was planted her freshman year.
“A girl at East (Jenn Krzeminski) got a thousand kills, and I remember being like, ‘I’m going to get a thousand kills my senior year,’” said Groves, acknowledging she was concerned her team might not even have a season last year due to the pandemic. “I remember last year I was thinking – I hope we have a season just so I can get at least a hundred kills in, so I’d have a chance this year. I was so excited to have a season last year. It made it so much easier for me.”
Ask Groves the secret to her success at the net, and she sums it up in few words.
“Wait for the ball and read the set,” the Titans’ outside hitter said.
Making the night even sweeter was the fact that the Titans earned a hard-fought 3-2 win at Abington.
“We dropped the first set, won the second, won the third and then dropped the fourth,” Godfrey said. “We rolled into the fifth, got some momentum and won it 15-13. It was close. Abington is a strong, scrappy team that makes you fight for every point. It was a lot of fun for us to get the W tonight on her big night.”
Groves, according to hear coach, will leave behind quite a legacy at South.
“She’s a great kid,” Godfrey said. “She is funny and smart, she’s an incredible leader. As a leader, she’s tough. She wants to win. She’s out there to put every ball away she can. She wants a lot out of her team, she wants a good senior year for herself and her teammates. I can’t wait for her banner to go up in the gym for her 1,000 kills.
“Being that she’s the first person at CB South to ever do it – we’re nine games into a 22-match season, so she could walk out the door with 13 hundred kills. It’s not unreachable for her. What a goal, what a record for future players to strive for. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”