Playing the Libero position requires the ability to read the opponent's attack, which allows the defender to anticipate and position themselves for a relentless pursuit of the ball and an accurate pass. At the club and high school level of volleyball play, you do not have tape to study your opposition. You only have a few minutes to watch the opposing team warm up for the match and try to identify the tendencies of the setter, pin hitters, middles, etc. During a tournament, when my teammates and I have time off or we are working a match of opponents in our pool, I use that time to watch each team's defensive weakness and offensive players to identify dominant hitters that the setter favors and look for the parts of the court those hitters tend to attack most frequently. Is the setter offensive minded, taking the second ball, will she mostly rely on a right side, opposite side or middle? Can she set both the right side and opposite side with accuracy or does she feel more comfortable setting one side or the middle? I watch as many NCAA volleyball matches as possible, focusing on the techniques of the best Liberos and players, at every position, in the country. How does the Libero adjust her on court positioning against the opposing offensive attack. I believe I have a high volleyball I.Q. and I'm always trying to learn more about different offensive and defensive systems.
2015 was my first season playing at the club level. At the age of 12, I was chosen by Coach Sam Berna of the Performance Juniors 14 National team as our team's starting Libero. I was fortunate enough to play every set of every match during the 2015 season because of my accurate passing, relentless defensive play, ability to attack off the pipe and the jump float serve that I worked hard to develop. That was the moment that I found my position in the sport I love. Although my Performance 14 Navy team did not win a tournament during the season, we placed in the top 3 in 5 of the 8 tournaments we played. Coach Sam Berna named me the MVP of the team for the season, but I believe our success was due to playing as a team. Volleyball success is not about any one player; it's WE, not ME. After the 2015 season, I learned the importance of strength training, nutrition and off the court preparation to improve performance, stay healthy and excel at my position. Playing the Libero position requires concentration, ball control, the ability to read the opposing offense, quickness, a relentless pursuit of the ball and a willingness to sacrifice your body, so the ball does not drop on our side of the court. A tough defense tends to frustrate hitters. During the 2017 club season, I was a 14 year old and the starting Libero on the Performance Juniors 17 National team. As a result of our strong team play, we placed 3rd overall at the New England Winterfest in Hartford Connecticut, Capitol Hill Classic in Washington D.C. and the Mizuno Boston Volleyball Festival. It is an accomplishment to receive semifinalist medals, but gold medals are the only thing that will really satisfy me. We used tough serving, solid team defense and accurate passing on serve receive to let our offense run effectively in system. Playing in the back row gives me a unique view of the entire court and how the opposing team is attacking us, weaknesses in the opposing defense and how plays are developing in general. I believe it is my duty to communicate what I see to my teammates, so we can all make adjustments.
In September 2016, I began attending Holy Trinity High School (Hicksville NY), as a freshman, in the next step to fulfill my academic and athletic dreams. Coach Karen Hogan (Trinity Head Volleyball Coach) recruited me to play for her, which I look at as an honor and responsibility to live up to her expectations of me as a student athlete and the expectations that I have for myself. In my first season at Trinity, I am proud to say I helped our team defeat our rival Kellenberg during the regular season for the first time in 10 years! My stats for that match were 5 aces, 5 kills off the pipe and 12 digs in a 3 set match. We went on to play Kellenberg in the semifinals of the playoffs, losing in a tight 3 set match and my stats for that match were 5 aces, 1 kill off the pipe and 11 digs. During the 2017 HS season as starting Libero, I led the conference with 362 digs (4.64 digs/set), received first team all-conference honors and helped lead our team to the conference semifinals. Academically, I have achieved the honor roll for the first 2 quarters with a 3.7 of 4.0 GPA. During the 2018 HS season, Coach Hogan named me captain of our team and we played 15 matches and 46 sets in-conference play, losing in the quarterfinals as a young team. Losing in the Quarterfinals was disappointing, but I again received all-conference honors and was named MVP by coach Hogan with 217 digs (4.72 digs/set), 30 aces (.65 aces/set), .92 serving percentage, .93 receiving percentage and 44 assists in 46 in-conference sets played. We only received team and individual stats for our in conference matches this season. My Dream is to become a dedicated, hard working student athlete for a University, Volleyball Program, Coaches and teammates with the same on the court and off the court dedication and tenacity, which I use in every part of my life. An NCAA National Championship, being the best student athlete and teammate I can be are a few of my goals.