CCHS Volleyball Players Go Above and Beyond


Mary Cummins

Carbondale Community High School is full of many dedicated athletes. While the school’s volleyball season ended in November, the volleyball players are still hard at work. Outside of the school system, these girls are members of a local volleyball club, SMASH Volleyball Academy. 

The director of the club, Jordan Becque, is also the head JV coach and assistant Varsity coach here at CCHS. She was even a middle school volleyball coach for many of the CCHS volleyball athletes. She encourages players to play for the club in order to strengthen the team bond and to improve skills through repetition. Having this connection is a huge advantage for our Carbondale volleyball players. However, this is not the only reason our players are motivated to play during their off-season. 

One of the 2019 Varsity captains, Ashton Hirst, loves playing during the off-season for many reasons. She feels it is simply so much fun to play the sport, especially with the other Carbondale girls and also to have the opportunity to meet new people. She also believes the Carbondale team is able to improve their teamwork while also getting to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Ella Summerlin, one of Carbondale’s outside hitters, mentions the benefit of maintaining the team’s chemistry rather than having to rebuild the bond at the beginning of every season.

Both girls felt improving connection with the team was a very important advantage of club volleyball. However, they also felt that playing during the off-season improved their game personally. Playing during the winter months after school season, is bound to improve their individual skills in a positive way. 

Both Ashton and Ella have played for SMASH for several years. Ella started four years ago and was a part of the very first SMASH team; Ashton joined soon after and has been playing for three years.

When these girls aren’t playing volleyball, they’re always staying active. Whether it be playing softball, being a soccer goalie, or knocking down pins for the school’s bowling team, the Carbondale volleyball team’s athletes are continuously working on their athletic abilities. 

While the connection with the club director played a role in why both of these girls initially joined the team, they continue playing year after year because strengthening the team bond is so crucial, as is bettering their skills. These CCHS volleyball players are extremely dedicated to maintaining the name of Carbondale’s respected athletics program. Way to go, Terriers!