Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley
Sports@lhvc.com 

Student-Athlete of the Week: Audrey Richard

 

October 7, 2017

Ed Navarro

Junior Audrey Richard prepares to serve against Greeley Central.

For Niwot junior Audrey Richard, volleyball isn’t just a sport, it’s a family tradition.

“I’ve been playing volleyball since I was three or four, when my Mom first coached me playing rec,” said the second-year varsity player. “Both of my older sisters also played, and that was just the kind of environment I lived in. I wanted to take after them, and it’s always been a part of my life.”

Both of the older Richard girls left their mark on Niwot. Oldest sister Meghan (’14) was the Cougars’ starting setter for three years, and is currently on the volleyball team at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Emma Richard (’16), who is currently at CU, switched to soccer in high school, and spent two years as a varsity striker for the Cougars.

This year, the youngest Richard is on track to leave a mark of her own.

In 36 sets so far this season, Richard has 80 kills, more than triple her 2016 total of 24, and the third highest total on the team. She also has 18 aces and is averaging 7.3 digs per match, up from 4.9 in 2016. In two games last week, she had 20 kills and 13 digs, and hit the match-winning kill in Niwot’s hard-earned victory over Thompson Valley.

For head volleyball coach Daisha Agho, the reliable outside hitter has become one of the team’s “go to” players whether on the front or back row.

“Overall, she’s a great leader and a great kid,” Agho said. “She keeps the team up, keeps them energized, and gets some really big kills when we need them. You can’t ask for much more than that.”

When she’s not swatting balls for the Cougars, Richard enjoys her math and biology classes in Niwot’s rigorous IB program, where she maintains a “3.8 or 3.9” GPA. She’s also Niwot’s Student Body Secretary, and has had a hand in planning a number of student council events this year.

Richard acknowledged that her workload can be hard to manage when volleyball is in season, and said the key to keeping it all under control is making a schedule ahead of time and taking advantage of off-time during the school day. Avoiding procrastination helps too. Nevertheless, Richard said benefits of the IB program far outweigh the drawbacks.

Ed Navarro

Audrey Richard receives a serve against Greeley Central on Sept. 21.

“Although it’s extra work, everything outside of the actual courses helps you develop as a person and they’ll give you lifelong skills,” she said. “It helps you become such a well-rounded person in so many aspects of your life.”

After high school, Richard hopes to continue her volleyball career and pursue a degree either in engineering or nursing, but doesn’t have a particular institution in mind just yet. For now, she’s just content to focus on her team’s winning season and post-season prospects.

“I’ve never played with a group of girls that’s so cohesive before,” she said. “There’s no drama at all, and we all perform as if we have known each other our whole lives.”

 

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