Ann Richards alumna, Sofia Hruby, was supported by friends, family, and former teammates in the SMU Doubletree Classic volleyball tournament in Dallas, Texas September 18th and 19th.
Hruby is one of eight freshmen on the Clemson University volleyball team. Since late June, she has been at Clemson in South Carolina preparing for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Clemson’s non-conference tournaments began August 28 and since that date, the Tigers have played a total of 12 teams in four different tournaments. The majority of her games in the ACC are scheduled to be played at schools located on the East Coast, making it difficult for Hruby’s family to cheer her on.
“I definitely miss seeing all of my family at my high school games. I loved seeing all my fans in the stands going crazy and cheering me on,” Hruby said.
Friends and family said they were eager to watch some of Hruby’s games and see how she competed at a Division I level.
“We’ve watched several of her [Hruby’s] games online through the Clemson website, but it wasn’t the same as actually being present at a game. The whole family had been counting down the days until the Dallas tournament,” Hruby’s mom, Sara Hruby, said. “We were ready to cheer her on and had collected a large supply of obnoxious fan gear including a big head cut-out of her face, tattoos, and t-shirts with her name and number on the back.”
On Thursday night, the Hruby family drove up to Dallas and watched Clemson play SMU and UTSA on Friday. Clemson lost to both SMU, who ranked top 25 in the nation, and UTSA. Hruby started each match and averaged a .2 hitting percentage, also earning herself a team high of 37 blocks throughout the season.
Saturday, Clemson had one last game to play against TCU. Several Ann Richards volleyball players including Maya Nunez, Mikayla Neumeyer, Jordan Smith, and Olivia Crouch made the drive to Dallas to watch the final game of the tournament.
Maya Nunez, a senior at Ann Richards and former teammate of Hruby said, “Sofia loves playing volleyball and it was really great to see her in her element. She looked so happy to do what she was doing and she seemed to be very well adjusted.”
After a close game reaching four sets, Clemson lost to the horned frogs.
“Seeing everyone who came to watch me play was really empowering. It really goes to show how tight-knit the sisterhood at Ann Richards is and that it extends beyond the school’s walls,” said Hruby.
Being a student-athlete at the collegiate level has been no easy task. Hruby juggles her academics and athletics making her schedule very demanding.
“It’s a lot of work and my schedule is limited, but I’m happy with my choice to play college volleyball,” Hruby said. “If it were easy, everyone would do it.”