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Kansas City, here we come!

Emma Smith, EMC Staff Writer

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In the beginning of the school year, I got a message from my coach saying that I made the AVCA Under Armour Phenom watch list for volleyball. Having no idea what that was or what it meant, I wasn’t very excited. After some research, I realized that this was an opportunity that I could not miss. I learned that the AVCA UA Phenom watch list was a list of volleyball players from all over the country graduating in 2018 – 2021 who were selected based off their stats and awards received (All-State teams). On that list there were only six girls from NY, and Lindsey Zawisa and I were two of them. This was very exciting for me, but it still wasn’t official. But, luckily, when the official list came out in October, we were still on it.

So, on December 13th at 5:30 pm, my mom, Lindsey, Mrs. Zawisa, and I got on a plane to Kansas City. My birthday is December 14th, and since there was a time change in Kansas City, I turned 17 one time in the air and, and again when we when we landed! On the night of the 14th was the NCAA semifinals matches: Florida vs. Stamford and Penn State vs. Nebraska. Our seats were only 15 rows from the court! Could it get any better than that?! Well guess what… it did! Coach Glenn had two extra seats in the second row, and he let Lindsey and me have them!! Talk about an amazing birthday gift! On Friday night we watched the All-American HS senior game. One of the girls playing was a girl that the Galway team had played against in a tournament. On Saturday we were tested and then ranked based on our scores. Lindsey and I did very well. On Saturday night we went and watched the NCAA finals: Florida vs. Nebraska. Honestly with the amount of Nebraska fans there, people might’ve thought it was a home game for them. The entire Kansas City Convention Center was sold out. On Sunday, our last day there, we played scrimmages against each other in front of hundreds of college coaches.

Not only was this an amazing experience, but it was so much fun! I’d do it all over again if I could. When I was there I got to meet Kathryn Plummer, a player for Stamford, and Alex Gordon, a professional baseball player! This was an amazing opportunity and it really helped get our names out to colleges. In my opinion, you should always follow your heart. If someone tells you that you are no good enough, prove them wrong. Don’t let anything hold you back. If you get an opportunity, take it and make the best out of it.

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