PEABODY — She radiates positive energy. That’s the first thing you notice about Olivia Summit.
The second is that no matter where she is on the volleyball court — but particularly when she’s in the front row near the net — the Peabody High senior can seemingly get to any ball.
Being ambidextrous will certainly go a long ways towards doing that. But Summit also possesses on-court smarts, a sense of awareness of what’s going on around her and, most importantly on this night, the ability to play her best when the situation matters most. She starred late in Game 4 and throughout Game 5 as the unbeaten and top-seeded Tanners rallied for a 3-2 victory over Methuen in the Division 1 North playoff quarterfinals last night at Peabody High.
“I had so much adrenaline in me that it all came out. I was just so pumped to hit the ball or tip it,” said the 17-year-old Summit, who finished with 21 kills, including a half-dozen in Peabody’s Game 4 win and four more in the penultimate fifth set.
“Oh Liv, she was just amazing,” added Peabody captain Carolyn Scacchi, who also had a terrific night with 17 kills and five blocks. “She was all over the place hitting everything.”
After prevailing 25-17, 19-25, 19-25, 25-19, 15-11, Peabody (21-0) earned another home match in tomorrow’s North semifinals against No. 5 seed Haverhill (17-3).
Down 2 games to 1 and trailing early (7-1) in the fourth, the Tanners rallied to tie it, 18-18, and took the lead for good on a Scacchi kill. Summit scored three straight points to get it to 23-19, then finished off the set with a perfectly placed shot into the middle of the Methuen (14-8) defense to send matters to a fifth and deciding set.
“Olivia had one of her best nights tonight. I have never seen her play like that,” said Peabody head coach Lisa Keene. “She brought it definitely to a different level.