Volleyball had an outstanding season; the girls played hard and well with lots of support from their fans. Many of the girls played outstanding, but one in particular, junior Alexa Smythe was recognized as one of the best players in the section along with junior Giuliana Castronova. She shares her experience with us.
The Horizon Sun – How does it feel to be recognized as one of the best players in your section?
Alexa Smythe shared how she felt being recognized as a best player: “It’s such an honor to recognized on the All-Section Second Team and it feels really good after how hard I worked this season and how hard our team worked. I love representing my team and school in this way.”
The Horizon Sun – What were your favorite parts of the season?
The whole season was amazing, but Alexa Smythe tells us her favorite part: “Some of my favorite parts of the season were winning the CPA tournament and beating Valley Christian. However overall, state was and always is my favorite part of the season because it’s a lot of team bonding and we’re playing the best, most competitive games of the season.”
The Horizon Sun – You’re obviously good in high school, how does your club volleyball experience compare to high school?
She shares her experience of both club and high school volleyball: “High school volleyball and club volleyball are different in many ways. Club volleyball is definitely more competitive; playing better teams and competition between positions within the team. Most girls playing high level club volleyball are all working towards the goal to hopefully play college volleyball. Although, both seasons are similar in the way that every player loves the sport, is working really hard, and has the passion to play.”
The Horizon Sun – What kind of training do you do outside of school practice?
Alexa plays great and she tells how she does it: “During high school season, we have practices and conditioning 5-6 days a week and tournaments on some weekends. This doesn’t leave much time for other training, although all season I am working to make myself better for the team and prepare myself for club volleyball.”
The Horizon Sun – Are you excited to play next year?
She tells us with a simple answer: “I am very excited for next season and to see all the things we can accomplish.”
The Horizon Sun – How do you feel about the team’s chances next year?
Alexa Smythe has great confidence in the team: “I feel like the team has very strong chances next year of doing well and winning state. They are redoing the divisions so we will be in A2, which is one of the lower ones, but we will still be playing very tough competition like Chandler Prep, Scottsdale Christian, Tempe Prep, and Parker. It’ll be a very tough season but I believe that if we come out strong like we did this year we have a great chance of winning state.”
The Horizon Sun – How do you feel the team as a whole ranks against others in your section?
Alexa Smythe explains the how she thinks the team is ranked: “We definitely had the toughest section in Division III, with strong teams like Chandler Prep, Valley Christian, Florence, Fountain Hills, and Tempe Prep. We won our section but I still think that we’re all pretty evenly matched. Playing against all of those teams it could have been anyone’s game and with teams that evenly skilled the little things matter the most. Like, mentality, effort, heart, and teamwork that can be very overlooked but it’s those things that bring teams out on top in big matches.”
The Horizon Sun – Besides yourself, who else on the team do you feel deserves mention as well and why?
She definitely does not want to take all the credit for the team: “Volleyball is no doubt a huge team sport and no one can win playing alone. It takes every person on the team working hard and playing together to win matches. So, absolutely everyone on our team played some part in being successful and we couldn’t have done it without every player. Although, some players that played huge parts in our success are Giuliana Castronova, our libero and one of our captains who also made the All-Section Second Team, Danielle Moran, our senior middle who always played with heart and brought all the energy, and Erica Kendree, who played a huge part in mentality, helping us keep our composure, and in big plays.”