There’s something to be said for those athletes who push the envelope. For Alma senior volleyball player Shelby Harness, her envelope came in the form of an alarm clock and early morning workouts with the basketball team.
In an effort to strengthen her vertical leap and become a stronger hitter, Harness was willing to do anything she could to get better.
Even if it meant getting out of bed at 6:15 a.m.
"A lot of people don’t know this about Shelby, but in the spring last year, she met with our basketball kids and worked on her Vertimax (a workout machine)," Alma coach Tiffaney Drinkwitz said. "She would get here at 6:45 in the morning and work out with the basketball girls to get her vertical jump better, so she could play this year."
Work has paid off as Harness and the Airedalettes faced Paragould Tuesday in the first round of the 5A State Tournament at Dyer Arena in Alma.
"It was hard at first and the workout was difficult, but once it became a routine it got easier and easier," Harness said. "And it definitely paid off in the end."
Led by junior outside hitter Aubrey Bailey and junior defensive specialist Hailey Ostrander, the Airedalettes hope to feed off their previous home match with Harrison — a match the Airedalettes rallied to win in four sets.
"By hosting the state tournament, we are afforded the opportunity to play in front of our own fans in a more relaxed atmosphere giving us an advantage over our competition," Bailey said. "With enthusiastic support from our student section and parents we will have an advantage going forward."
One of six seniors, Harness said she has enjoyed taking the role of a senior leader.
"Honestly, the younger girls do look up to you," Harness said. "From athletics, I’ve learned a lot — to pursue what you want and to work hard to get to where you want to be."