When I walk into a gym, hear the sounds of my sport and feel the energy of competition, I am always filled with a sense of pride. This is my place, my game, and the only thing that matters in this moment is the battle to win. My focus on the court is to be an unstoppable player. I have overcome many obstacles to get to this place - to stand with my team and be competitors - and I don’t take the opportunity lightly.
I began playing competitive volleyball as an eleven year old, all legs and arms and no coordination. Until recently, I always had to work twice as hard as my teammates to get similar results- battling my own body, willing my legs to move, determined to make it happen. The drive and determination I learned during my “growing years” has been just as much of a gift to me as my height is. I have been taught that volleyball is a game of mistakes - whoever makes the least will be the victor. I believe volleyball is a game of opportunity, whoever makes the most from the mistake, bounces back the quickest and overcomes the setbacks will take the victory. This is why my sport brings me so much pride. I may have had setbacks: in my life, with my grades, and on the court, but I know how to turn those into victory, and I have the drive to passion to always get back up and achieve my goal.
At the end of my freshman year I experienced a personal tragedy that eventually affected my school attendance and grades. It took months for me to overcome the challenges that came and to recover from the setbacks. Moving forward, it will take more hard work and focus to bring my grades back to the place that they were, but I am confident that I will use the same drive and determination to achieve that goal.
My years as an athlete have been spent competing at every level. I’m proud that I have worked hard to grow forward as a teammate and an athlete. Playing nationally on elite club teams and leading as team captain on my high school team have been privileges that many do not get to experience. I believe this is what makes me an energetic and inclusive leader whose drive for success is contagious. My parents tell me you appreciate what you have more if you’ve had to work hard for it. I know hard work, and I appreciate what volleyball gives me in my life. The court is home to me. Competition is my joy. Moving on to compete at the collegiate level will be the greatest joy.