Sophie Meredith embodies volleyball.
As she closes another chapter at Jefferson High after a loss to Musselman in the regional quarterfinals, the senior hitter only has a short breather before beginning her travel season.
“I’ve been playing travel since 8th grade,” Meredith said. “I don’t stop.”
Meredith has been playing volleyball since sixth grade after joining up to be with her friends. After tryouts, she made Harpers Ferry’s double-roster and now, seven years later, has built the foundation for the inevitable move into college.
In those seven years, Meredith has absorbed a lot from her high school coaches and teammates.
“I learned to play my best no matter what happens from Coach Mills. [Amy Chrisman] taught me how to fight through everything and keep your head high,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot from travel [as well]. Last year I was playing against D1 girls, and it gave me a whole new perspective of what’s out there, so I was learning all the time.”
Her motivation throughout high school has been a state ring, and although the Cougars haven’t made the state tournament Meredith continually played with a level of intensity exuded by girls who see the tournament. That intensity is going to pay off in her final stretch with Virginia Top Team, a group she’s “excited” to join.
“From what I’ve seen, the girls have a lot of talent,” Meredith said.
Virginia Top Team, a ball club based out of Centreville, Va., is a successful program. The 17/18 year old team was highly scouted in the 2017-2018 season, and six girls continued to play at Shepherd University, Coppin State, Salisbury and other Division 2 and Division 3 schools.
“Knowing that their coaches got them to that point, it makes me pretty confident that I’ll be able to play in college.”
That’s Meredith’s current endgame – make it on a college team.
“I’m looking at Marymount, and a couple of coaches are looking at me. Penn State Mont Alto, Goucher, Thiel are a few of the D3 schools [that have reached out],” she said.
Meredith will stay positive and keep her cool, confident demeanor going through the final stages of her high school career – it’s a key take-away she’s garnered from her time as an athlete.
“[The process] is a lot…It’s really time consuming, but in the end it’s all going to be worth it.”