Prep volleyball: Woods Cross' Hirst embraces leadership role

Published October 11, 2012 11:17 pm

Prep volleyball • Senior already committed to play at Idaho State.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Woods Cross • Chloe Hirst casts an intimidating figure on the court while spiking kills from the outside hitter position for the Woods Cross volleyball team.

Racking up kills gets the attention, but there's more to Hirst's game than putting her team on the scoreboard.

"I feel like I'm a really all-around player," Hirst said. "I think with me being able to hit and serve and pass and play defense, I think that sets me apart because that allows my team to have me all the way around."

Woods Cross coach Stefani Jensen agrees, though she'd add another aspect of Hirst's game to the list, and she'd put it at the top — leadership.

"It definitely helps our team's confidence level," Jensen said. "She backs up her team, and she makes them confident in themselves. She's a great team leader, and we always know we have Chloe there.

"I think it's very rare. It's easy to be selfish as an athlete, especially in volleyball. But it helps our team because one of our strong points is team chemistry, and the rest of the team feeds off her."

Hirst has embraced the leadership role, and she understands that as much as she practices her volleyball skills, she also has to nurture her leadership ability.

"I think about that for sure," Hirst said. "When we're playing, I always make sure we're working together and playing together. I think my role on the team is to lead by example and try to help the girls."

The contributions Hirst makes, both on and off the court have the Wildcats in position to do something they haven't done since 2003 — win an outright region title. The Wildcats entered the week atop the Region 6 standings at 6-0 (21-7 overall) after last week's win over rival Bountiful (11-7, 5-1 Region 6), who tied the Wildcats for the region crown last year.

"It's been our most successful season, and it's been the most fun season for me," Hirst said. "It's been really exciting. We have a high expectation to do well. It's fun always working toward that goal."

While Hirst's success often has put the Wildcats in the win column, it has paid off in other ways, too. The senior is committed to Idaho State on a full scholarship.

"My whole school's paid for, and just knowing where I'm going is really fun, too," Hirst said. "Being able to look toward the future and seeing what my goals are and my ambitions for that."

Jensen said having a player receive a Division I scholarship, something that hadn't happened during her three-year tenure, also can benefit the program. She said it could motivate the other players to achieve similar success.

"It's very exciting for her and for me and also for the program that we can have a D-I outside hitter come from Woods Cross," Jensen said. "We haven't been in the limelight for years." —

Hirst file

Chloe Hirst already committed to Idaho State.

Hirst recorded 33 kills, 12 digs and four blocks in a five-set win over Bountiful last week.