More than serves and digs

Volleyball players balance extracurricular activities


Contributed photo

Bella Kelleher competes with her competitive cheer team

Sidney Lott, Reporter

Rider’s volleyball team just finished up a successful season, winning the District 5-5A title and advancing to the third round of the playoffs. 

While they all have their strengths on the court, several Lady Raiders have developed talents away from the sport, too.  

When the Lady Raider are not having practices and games, Maegan Lacy does barrel races at rodeos. 

“Volleyball takes over my life, so I kind of put barrel racing away for the time being,” Lacy said. 

Barrel racing is a stress reliever for Lacy. Her mom was involved in college volleyball, while her dad was involved in rodeos.

“Sometimes it gets overwhelming because I do love competing because I did grow up doing both,” she said. 

While Lacy sees volleyball in her college future, junior Isabella Kelleher sees her future in cheer. She competes on a competitive cheer team in Norman, Oklahoma called Twist and Shout. 

“I do competitive volleyball as well. So between competitive volleyball and competitive cheer, I have to choose between them because they’re both on the weekend,” Kelleher said. “But usually school volleyball and cheer don’t conflict.” 

Kelleher got involved with doing competitive cheer because her mom is a gymnastics coach, and her older brother did cheer, while her dad played volleyball when traveling in the military.

“So when I was little he started me in volleyball, and I’ve played since South Side (Youth Senter). 

While junior Laura Christoff doesn’t compete in another sport, she showcases her talent in theater. Inspired by her third grade music teacher, Christoff has since performed in many shows at the Wichita Theatre.

“I’ve always been in sports when I was younger, and volleyball is just the one that stuck for the eight years I’ve been playing it,” Christoff said. “I have always been involved in singing. Theater was just the next step.” 

Christoff said she has the same love for volleyball and theater. She did a show in the third grade and didn’t do another until her freshman year at Rider. 

“I had to prove myself with that audition so they could really know who I was,” Christoff said. “I got the lead in the first show I auditioned for. I also ended up getting the actor of the year award.” 

All three volleyball players have had to balance improving their athletic skill while pursuing other passions. Coach Alysha Humpert thinks it’s a unique situation, especially at a bigger school like Rider. 

“I think a lot of times kids think they have to do one thing early on,” Humpert said. “We’re a 5A so a lot of kids go full time with something, but seeing them do something extra with theater, competition cheer and barrel racing, it just takes a lot of extra time because they are putting in a lot of hours. They are going above and beyond.”