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Camden guides team with experience, athleticism (VIDEO)

While many youngsters play sports for fun while in elementary school, not many continue their career, let alone play at a varsity level. Senior volleyball player Allison Camden has played seven years on the court and has participated in high school volleyball for four years. Due to her hard work and passion for the sport, Camden was named a captain this year, along with fellow senior Katelyn Miller.

At the age of ten, Camden was introduced to volleyball while playing with friends during recess at Robinson Elementary School. As time progressed, she eventually became more attached to the sport and decided to try out for a team.

Although Camden is involved in other sports such as basketball and softball, volleyball is her pastime. Camden enjoys becoming one with her teammates on the court and working together as a squad. She is fond of the sport because it not only requires basic skills but mental strategies as well.

“I really love the intensity of volleyball and the way the team meshes together,” Camden said. “I have played other sports before, but I am not a big fan of contact sports. I really like the fact that volleyball requires both skill and mental toughness.”

According to Camden, being a senior captain with Miller is an enjoyable experience. Although being a captain means more responsibility, she still likes leading the underclassmen and as an example for them.

“It is really cool being a captain with Katelyn,” Camden said. “We are always encouraging and pushing the other girls and they look up to us for guidance. As a captain, I feel more responsible because I know that I have to set a good example for the younger girls.”

Camden has played for FC, but also played three years on a club team at Hoover High. Camden says that she learned numerous techniques from the club, which helped to tremendously increase her skill level.

“I played Hoover volleyball club in junior high,” Camden said. “Doing club really helped shape me into the player I am today and I suggest that everyone who plays volleyball join a club.”

Camden’s mother, Lisa, says that she is proud of her daughter for having respect for the game and committing a large amount of time to the sport.

“She has been playing for awhile,” Lisa said. “She is always committed and has a good work ethic. I am really proud and it’s been pure joy this year because I have been able to watch her do something she worked hard at.”

Last year, Camden was the team’s libero, but due to her position change, she is now the setter. The transition may be difficult for some players, but Camden was able to quickly adjust due to her experience.

“I loved playing libero last year, but I definitely enjoy setting a lot more,” Camden said. “It was not too hard [to transition] because I was a setter freshman year, so I had a little experience.”

Junior Lexie Ellis says that Camden motivates her both on and off of the court. Ellis believes her to be a superior captain with a positive attitude.

“She [Camden] is one of my closest friends,” Ellis said. “She always has a high spirit and a never-give-up attitude. She has really impacted me personally because she always keeps me motivated. She is an amazing setter and perfect team captain.”

Due to Camden’s natural leadership abilities, she is a crucial player on the team, according to head coach Jeff MacNeill.

“Allison is one of our two seniors this year and definitely a leader on the court,” MacNeill said. “She is one of my captains because she has volleyball know-how and is able to motivate the team to play their best.”

Camden says that she appreciates her brother, alumnus Zach Camden, ’10, for attending all of her games and motivating her to move forward.

“He [Zach] has always been extremely supportive,” Camden said. “He comes to all my games and lifts me up when I am down. He definitely encourages me and gives me advice in all aspects of life.”

After graduating this year, Camden plans on attending Fresno Pacific University, but she will not continue on with her volleyball career, choosing to focus on her studies instead.

“I have considered playing in college before, but it would depend on what school I decide to go to,” Camden said. “It is likely that I am going to Fresno Pacific next year, but I am not going to play any sports. I hope to focus more on my school work. Maybe I’ll play intramural volleyball.”

Since this is Camden’s last year playing for FC, she wants the younger girls on the team to learn from her experiences over the past years.

“I am sad that this is my last year playing at FC,” Camden said. “It is also hard to believe that I am already a senior. I am going to miss playing with my teammates. I would like to tell them to always give all they have and be willing to work hard and to not get angry at little things … Focus on what really matters in life and in sports.”

FC’s No. 4 girls’ varsity volleyball team will begin the CIF Central Division V playoffs by hosting the No. 5 Alpaugh Buffaloes, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. Since this is a playoff game, admission for students with school IDs is $4 while adults’ is $6. No passes will be honored.

For more volleyball coverage, read the Nov. 4. article,
Volleyball sport shorts: Parlier. For more information on FCS sports, visit the Fresno Christian Athletics web page.

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