By Ayla Strong, Reporter
Tia Traudt, a freshman volleyball player, made her name known with her skills and her kills.
At 14, Traudt’s talent was apparent this season as she was the only freshman put on the GISH varsity volleyball team.
Traudt said she began playing volleyball in first grade and started playing club volleyball last year and her team ended up making it to nationals.
“It was very good competition for me,” she said.
Traudt said her motivation is her teammates, as she plays and thinks about them when in the match. In return, she said, the team encourages each other and are able to refocus as one during matches.
Traudt said that Head Coach Marcus Ehrke has helped the team by teaching them to work as a collected team and play the match point-by-point. She added that something that helped the team this season were the tough practices.
“Our practices are about an hour to an hour and a half and during that time I worked on improving my technique.”
This year marked the first season in many that the team was above .500 and hosted a match during the district contest.
However, Traudt said that game, which ended up being the final game of the season, didn’t go as she had hoped.
She said that during the match against Columbus there were some problems within the team as they didn’t play defense together and were not communicating as well as they had done in previous matches.
While the team ended up losing the final match and saw their season end, Traudt said she thought they had a “very good season,” and that she is looking forward to playing club season again this year and volleyball season for GISH next year.
“I think it went better than a lot of us expected. We got a lot better throughout the season and got some grit, especially in tight games and this was very essential in us having a winning record this year,” said Traudt.
The talented freshman ended the season with 335 kills, 25 aces, 20 blocks, 316 digs and had a .266 hitting percentage.
Ehrke said Traudt had a positive impact on the program as a freshman.
“She was not only a tremendous athlete-player, but an even better teammate,” he said. “She has a strong work ethic, is extremely coachable, and does the right things on and off the court. I am so excited to see how much growth she will make in the coming years as an Islander.”