Isabel Gomez

Seminole High School Senior and Varsity volleyball setter Haley Elbert pictured above.

Mahalla Hynes, Reporter

Senior, Haley Ebbert, is a varsity volleyball player and a new student to Seminole High School (SHS). For her first three years of highschool she attended University High School and played club volleyball with many of the same teammates she plays with here. Her friends are actually the people who got her interested in the first place. She saw her friends playing and wanted to join, so in 8th grade she joined her middle school volleyball team. 

She is a setter, meaning she works offensively, using her delicate touch and high jumps to score points. 

Sports are a huge commitment that many students drop once they reach high school. It requires passion and love for the sport they play to stay in the game. Ebbert loves volleyball and the camaraderie it brings. She is able to have fun with her friends, exercise, and do something she loves all at once, but her fellow teammates play the biggest role in this equation. 

“My friends and teammates make the sport. I could not imagine quitting.Also I just love the sport and the enjoyment it brings me”

Student athletes have a lot to balance between school, their sport, friends, and family. This makes time management an essential skill for student athletes to have. Ebbert says that this was a lesson she learned the hard way after challenges managing her schedule and responsibilities. 

“It’s very hard to do everything I do, but I have good time management. I work things out ahead of time. I plan in order to be able to meet my goals and maintain good grades. Learning time management was very hard but once I began to use it effectively everything became much easier, but volleyball is still my whole life.”

Competition comes with defeat and sadness at times. Athletes have to learn to persevere through the difficult times, continue to practice, and keep getting better. 

“I got really upset when I kept making mistakes that brought my level of play down. I just told myself everybody makes mistakes. You have to keep fighting if you want to improve,” Ebbert added.

Student athletes have pressure placed on them because they represent their school. Seminole High school has immense pride in their sports teams, and this only adds to the pressure. 

Ebbert confirms, “the way the school thinks about sports really affects us because when we win Seminole really brings joy to us but if we lose it feels like you’re disappointing the whole school.”

She hopes people come to more games and encourage them more. Ebbert shared that support and encouragement is a great way to support the team along with attending the games. She deals with the pressure by remembering that the school is just excited and wants the best for them. 

Benefits also come with playing sports, like learning group dynamics and  the value of teamwork. Additionally she learned how to face difficulties

Ebbert says ” I tell myself all the time just keep going. You have to be there for you team because it’s not an individual sport. You are there for the team.”

She also receives support from her family, adding, “My family knows I am very busy and they know I’m passionate. They know I’ll be okay even with all the pressure”

With the support of her family, friends, teammates, and school, she perseveres through the difficulties and challenges to proudly represent volleyball for SHS through the end of her senior year. She plans to continue to play volleyball after highschool, representing her college. All in all, she is not only a brilliant athlete and student but a brilliant person.