By Ben Murphy
Farwell senior middle hitter Caron White can do it all on the volleyball court. A school record 322 kills. 56 aces. 32 assists and 29 blocks. It should come as no surprise that White has been named the Clare County Review’s volleyball player of the year.
“Caron is a very well rounded player that can serve hard and accurate, she can pass the ball very well, she can set the ball and she has developed into an extremely hard hitter,” Farwell volleyball head coach Jacob Sullivan said. “As an attacker, she has the ability to hit the ball from many different areas of the court and can hit many different angles while at the same time, reading the other teams defense and is able to find open spots on the floor to put the ball to score some points.”
For success in killing the ball, it all comes down to strategy for White. Strategy and hitting the ball with blistering force.
“I went to every summer thing possible that my coach held and I went to a couple college camps so that I could learn from college players,” White said of learning the craft of a spike. “I used the fact that I like being motivated and had the goal of possibly playing in college. I’ve watched college volleyball and knew that they hit the ball hard so if I wanted to be able to play college volleyball I needed to hit as hard as them. That forced me to become a harder hitter.”
As for her placement of the ball?
“My favorite strategy to use was to read the blocks,” White, who plans to attend Central Michigan University where she will study mechanical engineering and may try out for the volleyball team said. “With a double-block you would want to hit the side towards where the second blocker came from because that side is normally open. If you get a perfect pass I liked to hit the ball to the left side of the court because I hit harder that way for some reason.”
White helped lead the Eagles to 16 wins this season and thrived in coming through in crucial moments, often times getting big kills in key situations.
“She was a great senior leader,” Sullivan said. “Most of the time she showed her leadership in her game. When it came to a point in a match where our backs were against the wall and we need a great performance, Caron would step her game up another notch and get us going in the right direction. When we needed a point in a crucial time we knew we could count on giving the ball to her and letting her perform and she would take care of the job.”
“I like the fact that I could come through late in the game,” White said. “Sometimes I wished I could start games the way I ended but I wasn’t always able to do that. I liked the fact I was able to end the game extremely hard even if I started the game bad.”
For White, winning the Review’s player of the year caps off a high school volleyball career that almost didn’t happen.
“When she was a seventh grader she wasn’t even sure that she was going to play volleyball,” Sullivan said. “But, after a little convincing from a special teammate, Lauren Ringwalt, Caron decided to play. It was immediately obvious that she had made the right decision an she never looked back.”
Now, White, who also plays basketball and softball for the Lady Eagles, can’t imagine her life without having played volleyball, a sport she admits she didn’t like early on.
“When I was in seventh grade I didn’t like volleyball, actually I hated it, I thought it was really stupid,” she said. “I eventually got over it and decided to try it for one year and ended up loving the sport. I’m extremely happy I played.”