WILMINGTON- When it comes to certain sports and the high level of play needed to sky rocket an individual’s skill set, volleyball within the school year can only take one so far. This is the reason club volleyball has grown across the country at an enormous rate over the last few decades — to help athletes make the necessary steps to succeed in achieving their dreams of competing in college.
Hoggard High School has been a staple across the region when it comes to producing high caliber players who have gone on to continue their career after 12th grade. For senior Madie Schider, her experiences over the summer had her matched up against some of the top volleyball players around the world during a trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“I started playing in elementary school in Oregon, but really started to love the sport playing on JV ninth grade year and earning MVP of the team that year at Hoggard,” Schider said. “After that, I began going to a lot of different camps and started realizing that this could be something I could do after high school.”
The High Performance [HP] Department of USA Volleyball works to advance volleyball talent and build a broader and stronger pipeline of athletes and coaches for our USA Olympic Teams. The High Performance Program bridges the gap between our USA National Teams and youth volleyball programs. Schider took part in a high performance tryout in Raleigh this spring and was selected as one of only 66 players from all over the country born in 1998 and 1999 to receive an invite to play for the USAV Women’s Junior Team.
Schider joined the USA Women’s Junior Continental Team in south Florida for the nine-day program, held through mid-July. During her time there, she competed on the international stage in an experience of a lifetime.
“There are a lot of HP programs throughout the U.S. and probably 15 tryouts around the country,” Schider added. “After the tryout we went down to Fort Lauderdale for five days of training, six hours of practice every day and two hours of meetings each day. For five days at the end, we actually had a tournament against other countries.
“That was a really cool experience to meet different people. I mean when we played Canada they were speaking French and it was just really awesome to not even know what they’re saying, but compete against them. It was an awesome experience.”
A libero is a defensive specialist position. The position was added to the game of indoor volleyball in 1999, along with a set of special rules for play in order to foster more digs and rallies and to make the game more exciting overall.
Often times, the defensive specialist will be responsible for a much greater part of the court than the other members of the team. The libero is in the game to add ball control, so the main responsibility is to pass the ball well so the team can run the offense.
“There’s no question Madie is the best libero I’ve ever had in my while career of coaching,” said longtime Hoggard Head Coach Ron Strickland. “She’s one of the best in the state right now.”
On defense, the libero needs to dig well, getting a hand on every ball in order to keep play alive. Since the libero has no actual attack responsibilities, he or she must chase down every ball they can. He or she may also be responsible for setting if the ball is dug by the setter, or out of the setter’s range.
With all that in mind, Schider has been able to maintain a strong presence for the Hoggard Vikings, while making leeway as an individual player. The hard work and talent has already paid off as the senior standout has committed to play volleyball for Hillsdale College in Michigan starting in fall of 2017. She has been offered a scholarship package, including an art and athletic scholarship.
“I would tell anyone trying to play volleyball at a young age and possibly into college is push yourself a little bit more,” Schider said. “Take every opportunity that there’s and look at different colleges to give you more options.”
— Joe Catenacci (@JoeCats19) September 6, 2016