Setting the standard for senior season

As senior Nora Larson steps into her last high school volleyball season, she’s fueled by ambitious goals for a memorable finale.
Setting the standard for senior season

Most high school athletes are often faced with the life-changing choice to continue playing their sport at the next level. This decision can be daunting for future collegiate athletes because of the required commitment, competition, and work. However, senior Nora Larson is excited about the great challenges ahead and is hoping to make her last volleyball season as a Sequoit count.

At eight years old, Larson’s volleyball career was inspired by her sister playing the same sport.

“I saw my sister playing in camps and I really wanted to try it,” Larson said. “Once I started playing it I loved it.” 

 She soon developed a strong attachment to volleyball and the work ethic it demanded. Larson continued to work hard and be diligent when training, leading her to excel and make it her craft. Before she knew it, volleyball took up many years of her life. Along her journey, Larson learned many skills that helped her mature as an athlete and a young woman.

“The biggest life lesson that I have learned playing volleyball is that your teammates become your family and you all go through so much together,” Larson said. 

Without the support from friends, family, and teammates, Larson knows she would not have the same success or the number of opportunities that volleyball has given her today. Antioch Community High School senior Addison Pyburn has been best friends with Larson for many years and has watched her grow into the amazing volleyball player and woman she is today. 

“She always does everything to her full effort and makes sure her teammates are the best they can be,” Pyburn said.  

The dedication Larson has put into this sport is evident to those around her. Pyburn elaborates on how Larson is genuine and responsible, which are important traits to have in a best friend and teammate. Respecting and having a bond with your teammates is something that one must have in order to get the desired outcome in the season. Larson puts forth a great deal of effort to make sure that everyone stays accountable and that the team is cohesive with each other, which takes an immense amount of passion and effort.

“She started taking a leadership role her sophomore year, and since then has become a leader on and off the court, this is her second year as a team captain,” varsity volleyball Coach Greg Bruns said. “Nora has been good at sharing her ideas with me for the last two years and has grown her demeanor on the court.”

Larson received the golden opportunity of being on varsity as a freshman in high school, which is a dream most freshmen do not fulfill. Bruns holds the Sequoit volleyball team to high standards which Larson easily withheld and was proficient in. Her growth throughout her high school career helped inspire many younger athletes to stay determined and maintain a passion for the sport that they love. 

“She works the summer camps and helps out the middle school players,” Bruns said. ” In season, as a senior, she has taken the lead in our Big Sister program, she has a group of underclassmen that she will help if they need it, and is a mentor to those players.” 

Larson stood out and gained respect from teammates and coaches due to having the patience to help younger teammates and athletes. 

“Nora is one of the players on the team that works hard to get better, plays club and has done some out-of-season conditioning work to increase her vertical jump,” Bruns said.

To maintain the right amount of technique and strength to succeed in the high school season, most athletes often play their sport in a club setting outside of school to grow and improve their skill and performance. Larson plays for Sky High Volleyball Club to get extra practice in during her off-season. Her initiative and drive for volleyball also led her to do extra conditioning to maintain her durability on the court. 

It is apparent that Larson takes the time to bond with her teammates. Being inclusive is very important in the aspect of being a leader; working well with others will make it easier to adapt to different skill styles that coaches or athletes could potentially have. 

“I hope to play volleyball in college,” Larson said. “I hope to travel as much as possible and work with new people,” 

The opportunities are endless as a college athlete. Being constantly surrounded by new people and new coaches is ultimately more subject to holding yourself accountable for what is thrown at you because new expectations must be exceeded. Larson plans for the future and hopes to play at the next level. With her strong academic background, intense training tactics, and ambition, she has a very high chance of achieving her goals and making her nine-year-old self proud by playing at the collegiate level.

“She has become such a mature young woman who stands for what she believes in and this will allow her to be successful in any area of her life,” Pyburn said.

Whether it is her teammates, coaches, friends or family, Larson has a substantial support system that will continue to help her grow even more to reach her vast goals. As she enters her last season as a Sequoit athlete, Larson plans to leave an impact on the program. She will continue to make her community proud not only in Antioch but wherever she continues her volleyball career.

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About the Contributor
Scarlett Goodluck, Tom Tom Staff
Scarlett Goodluck is a senior and has been on staff for four years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and being on the lake. She is looking forward to strengthening her writing skills to help impact the program.

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