The highlight of my athletic career so far was my first varsity game. In my sophomore year, I made the team as one of three middles and didn’t expect to play, because I was competing with upperclassmen for playing time. But, on our first game night, after the national anthem when the lineups were announced, I was on it. I was ecstatic because of the work that I had put in during the year leading up to that game and that season. But, what’s interesting about that night is that I had only started playing volleyball competitively my freshman year of high school. I had immediately fallen in love with the sport and have worked hard to improve my skills in my drive to excel. Playing club my first year was hard, I was still learning and playing with kids that had been playing club for 2-3 years. I had a natural affinity for volleyball and that worked to my advantage, but I still had to push myself hard to make up for the time that I had missed. I pushed myself to outwork everyone in the gym, during every practice, and every game, and eventually, it started to visibly pay off. I became a standout player on my team, then in my age group, and then I got asked to play up on 17’s team for a player they had lost to an injury. That year I tried out for and made USA High Performance in my age group. I was the underdog for my freshman year and I still have a lot of growth left in me as a player. That year taught me a lot about challenging myself and pushing past what I thought I could do both in volleyball and in the classroom. It also taught me the meaning of mental toughness and about overcoming the mental barriers in order to achieve my goals. My drive and passion to excel, reach my goals, and overcome adversity have gotten me to where I am and are what will make me a dedicated and amazing player in the future and a great asset to your team.