Eighth grader Emma McCrary joined her first travel volleyball team this year. She plays for Union Volleyball on one of the regional 14u teams. Her transition from school volleyball to travel took time to adapt to.
“You don’t know the people you are playing with usually. The practices are harder and a lot longer,” said McCrary.
McCrary practices for three hours twice a week in New Albany at Southern Indiana Sports Center. Her team will be playing in a tournament in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and possibly a tournament in Orlando, Florida. McCrary has nine girls on her team from places all over Kentuckiana, such as Jeffersonville, Louisville and Charlestown.
During McCrary’s junior high volleyball career, she didn’t get the recognition she desired for all her hard work and dedication to the sport. However, she has worked even harder, and she hopes this travel team will help her improve for the start of her high school career next school year.
“I have improved drastically on my hitting. I can hit harder than I was ever able to before. I’m a way better communicator on the court, and I can tell I have bettered overall in volleyball,” said McCrary.
McCrary is starting middle hitter on her Union volleyball team. Her first tournament was January 21-22. Her team placed second out of the 20 teams in her division. There were 124 teams total at the tournament that weekend.
“I felt excited and nervous since it was my first travel volleyball tournament. The girls we played against had middle hitters a lot bigger and stronger than me, but I’m glad I didn’t back down. Overall I had a blast,” said McCrary.
McCrary hopes her future career in volleyball reflects all the progress she has made as an athlete.
“I’m excited to see how much I improve this year because of joining this team, and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me,” said McCrary.
Story by Gracie Walls