Athlete of the Week: Ava Smith, Morris, senior, volleyball

Smith led the Morris volleyball team to a 6-1 record in their first week

Ava Smith of Morris goes up for a kill during a game at Kaneland on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022.

Morris senior volleyball player Ava Smith won the voting last week for Athlete of the Week. She beat out Minooka volleyball player Brooklynne Brass and Minooka cross country runner Mya Ledesma.

MHN: When did you start playing volleyball?

Smith: I started playing volleyball in third grade for my school team

MHN: What do you enjoy most about volleyball?

Smith: I love the technicality of volleyball equally as much as the mental aspect. It’s a fun and challenging environment to balance these two while trying to cultivate good team culture. I also love working on being a good teammate, which is extremely important to the success of myself and my teammates.

MHN: If you didn’t play volleyball, what would you play?

Smith: I’ve always enjoyed watching soccer, but never played it, so I’d probably want to try that out. I also have always thought that lacrosse looked like a unique sport to play.

MHN: What are your goals for yourself and your team this season?

Smith: As much as the wins are fun, my goal for my team this year is to create a challenging and encouraging environment. Of all the years I’ve played volleyball, I can hardly tell you how many wins and losses I’ve had each year, but I never forget the dynamic of the team, whether good or bad. As for myself, I hope to grow as a player and leader by addressing past mistakes I’ve seen others make, as well as mistakes I’ve made. I hope to carry these leadership skills with me in other aspects of my life in the future.

MHN: Outside of volleyball, what do you like to do for fun?

Smith: Outside of volleyball I love to lift weights, run, try new foods, listen to podcasts, and water ski.

MHN: What is your favorite meal?

Smith: My favorite food is sushi. A friend of mine recently introduced it to me in the beginning of this year and I’ve loved it ever since.

MHN: What’s on your pre-game playlist?

Smith: I listen to a variety of different music before a game. Everything from “Dawns” by Zach Bryan to “Goodness of God” by Bethel Music.

Rob Oesterle

Rob Oesterle

Rob has been a sports writer for the Morris Herald-News and Joliet Herald-News for more than 20 years.