Girls Volleyball

Slovenski Utilizes Athleticism and Court Knowledge to Dominate Opponents

As well as being a skillful athlete on the volleyball court, Post-Graduate (PG) Sophie Slovenski ’18 is also an adept soccer player. Since volleyball and soccer are both played in the fall at Andover, Slovenski entered the year unsure whether to play volleyball or soccer and decided to play in Team Prep for both teams.

After deciding to play volley, Slovenski has proven an invaluable asset to Andover Girls Volleyball this season with eight years of prior experience.

Slovenski said, “Team Prep was amazing, when I got there it was like I was already part of the [volleyball] family. It was really crazy. [Co-Captain] Serena [Liu ’19] was the first person who saw me, and we went outside, and she helped me warm up. That night, I made the decision that I wanted to play volleyball. Team Prep reminded me of my love for volleyball, and I owe that in part to how friendly and welcoming the team was.”

Possessing an impressive vertical of approximately 32 inches and a lethal serve, Slovenski is a powerful presence on the team.

Chioma Ugwonali ’20 said, “Sophie is a stunning all-round player and outstanding outside hitter. Soph plays all-round, so she is always saving the ball and finishing the point. She is definitely a key player on the team.”

Co-Captain Claudia Leopold ’18 said, “She is a fantastic player all around. Her serves are probably the best on the team, her hits are ridiculous, and she gets to every ball in the back row.”

Despite Slovenski’s exceptional performance on the court, her teammates admire her most for her relentless positivity and easy-going personality.

Leopold said, “Sophie is a phenomenal teammate. I play beside her for a number of rotations and cherish the times when we’re at the net next to each other and we can laugh in between points. She is an amazing source of positivity and energy on the court and during practice because she is always smiling, and it is hard not to get excited after she hits.”

Ugwonali said, “Sophie is truly a wonderful person inside and out. She has a cheerful personality on and off the court. Every time I see her, Sophie makes my day with her smile, and I am so grateful I am able to play alongside her. Sophie is a great teammate. She is encouraging to everyone on the team, and she holds herself to high standards of excellence. She is also someone I really admire on campus; I am upset she will only be here this year.”

Another one of Slovenski’s key qualities is her impenetrable mentality, which allows her to stay focused and maintain a positive energy throughout the team.

Violet Enes ’21 said, “Sophie is the brightest person on the court, she always has a smile on her face. She brings so much light to the courts, and she doesn’t get down on herself or her teammates. Even though she is a PG, she does not act better than any of us; she acts just like one of us. She is amazing and has really been a key contributor on the team.”

Head Coach Clyfe Beckwith said, “Sophie has got some serious hops and can hit the leather off the ball. Much better than that is her I-am-having-fun attitude; just watch her play and you literally feel happiness. She is strongest as a hitter and covers the court defensively well too. She brings joy to us as a team and brings fear to opposing blockers.”

Slovenski not only looks forward to Andover’s matchup against Exeter but is also grateful that she is part of the team.

Slovenski said, “I’m most excited for the Exeter game because I was originally so set on [going to] Exeter, but once I visited Andover my opinion completely changed… What is amazing about this team is the spirit. You can screw up and they just tell you to move on, it doesn’t matter. It is just a really good atmosphere. I just really love volleyball and spending time with the girls.”