Sophie Summers: Sunset’s future olympian?
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Sophomore varsity volleyball star Sophie Summers is a force to be reckoned with on the court. Her explosive blocks and hits are as fast as lightning have caught not only the attention of the University of Washington, but the USA Youth National Team’s attention as well. Sophie in her second year of high school, is playing at the national level; her future in volleyball is bright. But how did she get to that level? What happened in the years she wasn’t known as “Sophie Summers, Sunset’s tall middle blocker?” With a rough beginning and fighting spirit to be better, Summers might just be a future Olympian.
It was January 2013when Summer’s first dipped her toes into the giant world that is volleyball. Not having any high expectations, she played her first year of volleyball for the Aloha Warriors. Her first club season had a negative impact on Summers and made her think less of volleyball then she had in the past.
“I was going to quit right after the season I swear,” said Summers when describing her first taste of volleyball, “but I kept going and went to some camps and learned to love volleyball again. I just keep going up and getting better until I ended up in the University of Washington. Which is the craziest thing ever.”
Yes, that’s right, UDUB (University of Washington). Already the title of being committed to the University as a freshman is impressive, however, add being part of the American Youth National Volleyball Team, and you’ve got everybody’s attention. But the remarkable part of this story is the process she went through to land her a spot on the team.
Back in 2013, Sophie, shockingly, made the lowest USA high performance team.
“I was really embarrassed about it,” expressed Sophie, “but I came back and made the second team, then eventually made the top team for their Holiday camp. Then the next try-out was the youth national team. I remember thinking ‘I am going to be on this team, I am going to be on the national team.”
After going through try-out after try-out, competing for twelve spots with the best players in America, the group of survivors go to a training camp where their numbers will be cut in half.
“Only half go to Puerto Rico, and it’s so scary. People were crying before it even happened because it was so emotional. This was everyone’s dream, they dedicate their lives to volleyball,” said Summers.
Once Sophie made the national team, it didn’t stop there, it was off to Puerto Rico. Drug tests, passports, and other titious paperwork was all that was standing between her and an international tournament.
“I got to use my Spanish 1 skills to say thank you and hello. I never thought I would actually use them, like ever.” In Puerto Rico, Summers and her team experienced things like exotic “tiny limes with peaches in the middle” called canapes and dancing lessons from Spanish speaking nations that they befriended..
Puerto Rico was the best experience of her life, but it’s the people she’s met and competed with at Sunset and on her USA team that have made her volleyball experiences memorable. With these experience behind her and so many new ones to come, Summers is excited to compete for the state title with her current varsity team.