Athlete enjoyed volleyball on, off court

For The Tribune

Claire Pace had a lot of fun as a starter for Brownstown Central varsity volleyball team the past two years.

The senior enjoyed everything on and off the court with the Braves.

“I love the competition, and our program was really upbeat this year,” Pace said. “We’re never negative towards each other. I think keeping it positive really helps.

“A lot of my best friends are on the team. It’s just really enjoyable being out there with them. It’s fun, and anyone that has an interest in it should try it.”

Pace began her volleyball career in Seymour before moving Brownstown in seventh grade.

At Brownstown, she played two years of junior varsity, was a varsity starter the past two years and started at outside left hitter and played all-around.

“I blocked the setter if she tipped, and the right-side hitter on the other team,” Pace said. “If the setter is in the front row then you jump with her every time, and reach over the net so the ball doesn’t fall in front of you.”

Pace said you have continually change your angles when attacking.

“It depends on their defense. Sometimes they’ll have a back-row player go line, so then the middle of the court is open. Other times they can sit in the middle so the line is open. You want to hit where they’re not.”

When she was in the back row, Pace said she played left back defense.

“When an outside is hitting I went to the left back corner,” she said. “I looked for where the holes are in the block, so I have to base where I am on defense off of where the blockers are, so if we have a hole in the block I need to go more toward the middle.”

Pace said in order to have a good dig, “you need to move your feet and get underneath the ball as best as you can, and read the hitters’ swing.”

Pace said communication is vital to have success in volleyball.

“It is one of the most important factors, because if you’re not talking then your teammate might not know if you’re there or who is going to get the ball,” she said.

The senior appreciated the fan support at the home matches.

“We had a bigger student section,” Pace said. “More people were coming because we were better this year. More of the community was wanting to come and watch us.”

On the court, the Braves tried to keep their composure at all times.

“This is a very mental sport because once one person gets down other teammates can feed off that emotion and they can get down, and then you can start losing,” Pace said. “If everyone stays upbeat then you can continue to win.”

Pace said beating Seymour at home this season was the highlight win for her.

She has enjoyed attending Brownstown Central.

“I like how everyone is close knit and pretty friendly here,” Pace said. “I’ll remember my teammates more than anything.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Pace file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Claire Pace

School: Brownstown Central High School

Parents: Gregory and Andrea Pace

Siblings: Madelyn, Sam

Sports: Volleyball 4 years

Athletics highlights: 2016 all-county

Organizations: National Honor Society, Booster Club

Plans after high school: Attend Indianan University Purdue University Indianapolis

Favorite food: French fries

Favorite TV show: “Friends”

Favorite singer: OneRepublic

Favorite movie: “Sleeping Beauty”

Favorite team: Indiana University