Hurricane Arya: Laurel Springs Senior to Take Yale Volleyball Scene by Storm Next Fall
A storm on the volleyball court, missile on the tennis court, Laurel Springs senior Arya Jue has set her sights on Yale after graduation—and watch out New Haven, because she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Arya has had an affinity for athletics since her early grade school years, joining a YMCA volleyball league at just 8 years old. After only a few years, Arya’s natural talent and passion for the sport bloomed so much that her parents moved her to the prestigious A5 Volleyball Club at the A5 Sportsplex in Alpharetta, Georgia, the #2 youth volleyball club in the country.
Already, Arya was leaps and bounds ahead of most players her age.
“I made the 12-1s team at 10 or 11 and was the six rotation outside hitter for the team until 15-1s year where I transitioned to libero,” Arya explains.
The libero is one of the most important positions in volleyball and requiring stellar ball control and discipline. Liberos only play in the back row and cannot rotate to the front; they’re also on the court during almost the entire game, so leadership skills and a level head are critical. Successful liberos are vocal and spirited, guiding and engaging their team throughout the game.
Arya has just completed her third year as the libero and recently finished the 2022 season with her team, A5 17-1. They’re ranked as high as second in the nation and, while the 17s fell to another team this year, the club overall swept multiple National Championship rankings in June.
The volleyball star says her favorite memory shared with her team is winning the NIT Triple Crown Championship two years in a row.
“We’ve finished in the Top 5 in national rankings and at the National Championship’s Open Division since 12s, and I’ve loved playing and having experiences with my teammates,” Arya says. “We were talking the other day on how long we’ve been with each other, and it feels like a core group or family.”
Arya Jue is striking a balance between athletics and academics
After attending a private elementary and middle school until 8th grade, Arya’s success in volleyball (and tennis) required her to transfer to an online school. She needed the flexibility to continue pursuing her full athletic potential while still preparing for the future academically.
“I was missing more and more classes, and juggling the constant practice, tournament, and travel schedule,” Arya recalls. “It was getting overwhelming. Some of my tennis friends recommended Laurel Springs for athletes, so I tried it out for a summer semester and absolutely loved it.”
Counselor and teacher support, quality of material, and flexibility of due dates kept Arya coming back to Laurel Springs.
“I’ve matured as a person because of it,” she says of the growth she feels of her ability to balance her passions and education.
With her senior year on the horizon, Arya has her eyes firmly set on taking her academic and athletic talent and ambitions to attend Yale University in Fall 2023.
“Volleyball appeals to me because of the electric atmosphere, competition, and family-based memories. Because it is a team sport, unlike tennis,” says Arya. “I’m very thankful for volleyball, for getting me the opportunity to go to Yale and perform for their program.”
Perseverance through adversity
What lessons will this young athlete take off the court with her when she leaves for college? Perseverance through adversity is the big one.
Arya says she’s experienced her share of factors beyond her control including year after year fierce competition for her position and awards.
But, through her own unwavering determination, Arya held her ground and kept her spot on the court, and knows that that same tenacity will be useful later in life.
She’s also had to learn to not sweat in the spotlight, and says “handling extreme pressure moments, such as playing on ESPN in the finals or in front of future college coaches, has prepared me for life outside of sports.”
While a natural affinity and athletic talent can get you so far, Arya knows she has her parents, fellow players and liberos, and famous volleyballers that she looks up to to thank for motivating her to achieve the best athlete, student, and person she can be.
“My parents do everything they can for me,” Arya says. “They push me and motivate me to get out of bad habits and learn from my mistakes quickly.”
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