Big Red Profile: Devon Cole ’21 & Sara Xu ‘22

Connor King ‘22
This fall, Sara Xu ‘22 and Devon Cole ‘21 were among the rising stars of the varsity volleyball team’s rising stars. Here, they reflect on the team’s successful 18-3 season.
 
Connor King: When did you start playing volleyball?
 
Sara Xu: I started playing volleyball in sixth grade. I went to a camp in the summer before trying out for my school’s team. I then tried out for club and got onto the national level. After three years on that team, I came to Lawrenceville.
 
Devon Cole: I started when I was in third grade. I played at the beach because I was in California. I started playing club volleyball in about sixth grade.
 
CK: What attracted you to volleyball?
 
SX: My mom suggested that I start playing. Once I started playing, I really fell in love with it because it is such a team sport, and takes a lot of practice to master the skills.
 
DC: My parents were big volleyball players, so we played at the beach with friends nearly every day. I just continued into indoor volleyball when I got a little older
 
CK: Do you play outside of school?
 
SX: Currently I don’t. Club volleyball is a really big commitment, and I am a boarder. Over the summer I went back to my old club, I coached a bit for young players, and I played in a tournament with my old team.
 
DC: Every summer, I go to a few volleyball camps. I’ve gone to a specific one for four or five years. I always play a lot over the summer. I can’t play club volleyball anymore because I am doing too many sports.
 
CK: What position do you play?
SX: On this team, I play outside hitter. Basically my main job is hitting on the left side of the court. I hit in the front row, and pass in the back rows. Last year, I had to play middle for the team, so this year is my first year playing outside for Lawrenceville.
 
DC: I am the libero. It’s a position for defensive specialists. I stay in the back row the whole time and I sub in and out without having to go all the way around the court.
 
CK: How have you grown as a player?
SX: When I first started playing, I was scared about playing tournaments. I would work hard, but I always found myself struggling to really feel confident in myself. That really changed for me as I grew more confident and found my passion for the sport because now I really look forward to every game.
 
DC: Over the years, I learned how to communicate with my team. The most important part of my position is communication, so learning to communicate with the front and back rows has been really important for me.
 
CK: How would you sum up the season?
SX: This season was really great. We won the semifinals of our state independent league. We lost in the finals, but even getting there is a big step for volleyball at Lawrenceville. We won a lot of big games against a lot of great teams as well.
 
For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.
 
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