By: Camila Angola
Balancing sports, academics, and other interests is an arduous task for most students. Some might crack under pressure or not be able to perform well. However, for Senior Olivia Young, balancing volleyball and her other responsibilities, all while keeping a positive attitude, comes with ease.
Young first started playing volleyball in eighth grade and has been a varsity player for three years. She was introduced to the sport by an after school clinic held at North by one of the varsity players at the time, and immediately gravitated towards the sport. Volleyball takes up a lot of her time, but Young has never found it particularly difficult to keep herself organized. “I find that playing volleyball helps me to focus. Coming home late each day from practice allows me to better manage the time I do have when I do get home,” Young said.
Her sunny and optimistic disposition is reflected on the court, too. “She’s always a positive presence and brings up the team’s energy. She doesn’t let things like a bad pass get in her head but rather she moves past it and goes for the next one, all the while encouraging everyone around her to keep their heads up,” Senior Olivia Dyke said. Young’s positive attitude and her reassuring and encouraging words, whether at a practice or in a game, on the court or off, has been inspiring for her teammates in tough times and is valuable to those around her.
Aside from her supporting attitude, her tireless dedication and her consistent hard work have made Young a serious threat on the court. “She owns her position and has been playing efficiently and scoring consistently––her skills have been improving and increasing exponentially,” said Varsity coach Luiz Tessarotto. Her skills and growth do not go unnoticed by her teammates, and they all recognize how much she has grown as a player this season. “I have seen her grow from an already amazing volleyball player to an even better one every single day. She has such sharp reactions for passing and powerful hits and serves,” Junior Arin Sang said.
Volleyball has taught Young many valuable lessons that can be applied in her daily life. “The sport has taught me to view the mistakes I’ve made as opportunities to become a better version of myself. Playing volleyball has also allowed me to have a higher level of respect for all kinds of athletes,” Young said. However, she also applies these lessons during practices and games, and always looks to learn from her mistakes and achieve her goals.
In the future, Young hopes to study foreign relations in college and learn as much as she can about the world. Although she doesn’t plan to continue playing volleyball in college because of the time demand, Young hopes to play at an intramural or club level once she enters college.