For five years, eighth-grader Ashley Reynolds has been setting and spiking her way across the volleyball court. Reynolds fell in love with the sport during a third-grade introduction to volleyball, which then prompted her to sign up for separate practices almost immediately after. “I was really nervous about starting so late, but it was definitely worth it,” she said, as many professional volleyball players attest to starting at a much younger.
Reynolds plays as setter, a position that controls the offense and decides who should get the ball and when. She currently plays for the Venetian Bay team, and also played on Pine View’s team throughout middle school. “I love volleyball because I like being athletic and working hard, and in volleyball I can do both while being surrounded by my friends.” said Reynolds.
Reynolds typically has three two-hour long practices a week, as well as tournaments nearly every weekend during volleyball season. This year she will be attending several away tournaments, including ones in Jacksonville, Atlanta, and Chicago. “I love going to tournaments and traveling to new places, but my favorite tournament is the Godzilla tournament in Tampa, because it’s a massive tournament and you get to play a lot of games every day,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds greatly enjoys competing in tournaments and getting to show off her skill, which is evident as she won first place in the County Championships in seventh-grade and this year placed third.
Ashley’s primary support system consists of her parents, who she says always support her ambitions.“I love watching Ashley play because she gives it her all. She continues to learn and develop and that is also fun to watch and support in any way I can.” her father said.
Reynolds’ biggest inspiration is Marlie Monserez, a freshman volleyball player at the University of Florida, who Renolyds admires because she believes Monserez is very skilled. The University of Florida is where Reynolds hopes to attend and continue playing volleyball, which she plans to do by working hard for the rest of her middle and high school career and improving her volleyball skills.