Co-Captain Claudia Leopold ’18 promptly stopped playing soccer in order to pursue her newfound passion when she was first introduced to volleyball in the seventh grade. After improving her playing style in a club team throughout the eighth grade, Leopold joined Andover Volleyball in her freshman year and it has played a significant role in her life since.
Leopold said, “This team means a lot to me because of how much it shaped my life freshman year. I will never forget what it felt like when Senior [Alex Becker ’15] took me under her wing and helped me improve and showed me the ropes of the school in general.”
As a leader, Leopold works to guide her teammates and help them improve by providing advice and constant enthusiasm.
Leopold said, “I like being a source of energy for the team. I love psyching people up on the court so they can play to their full potential. I also love cheering on the bench when I rotate out. I also try to be a support system for my teammates, both in the gym and around campus.”
As well as her energizing nature, Leopold possesses a relentless work-ethic, an evident growth mindset, and a forward-looking attitude, according to Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith.
Coach Beckwith said in an email to The Phillipian, “Claudia leads in every capacity: as a role model on the court with intelligent choices and athletic and skilled plays, she plays like a team member first and comes through on execution as an individual second. She leads by example in the drills… [and] is cheer-leader for every member of the team, evidenced especially during Friday night team dinners.”
With such a talented group of players this season, Leopold tries to inspire the girls to remain dedicated and hopes that the team can continue to work together and eventually play in the championship.
“Coach Clyfe keeps on saying that we’re a ‘Championship team,’ so I hope we can reach our full potential. Until then, I want to stay focused on our big games coming up, like Choate and Exeter. I want to work on keeping our energy and commitment high during the entire match and playing at our level, no matter our opponents,” said Leopold.