Think Lexington High senior Kellie Schmidt is taking a break from volleyball as she waits for her collegiate career to begin at South Carolina?
No way. Not only was she named to an All-America team, her club team is traveling the country to compete for national prizes.
This past weekend, the Midland Volleyball team traveled to Denver for the Colorado Crossroads Junior National Qualifier tournament.
The goal is to advance to the USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships, which start this June in Reno, Nev.
And while the squad fell short during three days of competition - splitting eight games to finish 35th out of 128 teams - tournaments in Charlotte and Atlanta in the next few weeks offer chances to make the cut.
Still, the extra action helps Schmidt with two key elements of her game she says she wants to sharpen: "Jumping higher - and hitting harder."
A few weeks earlier, the 5-foot-10 outside hitter was honored as one of 150 players to Prepvolleyball.com's High School All-American team.
Schmidt was also named Miss Volleyball at a High School Sports Report banquet in February. This is in addition to being named the Gatorade S.C. Player of the Year, The State's 4A Player of the Year and leading the Wildcats to the 4A state championship match.
According to John Tawa of Prepvolleyball.com, the top criteria to be named is: "You must have made a massive impact on your high school team."
And yes, Schmidt led the Wildcats in statistics with 297 kills and 87 digs in 2009. But when asked what her biggest impact was for her teammates, Schmidt said it was "leading them physically and emotionally."
Thus, she was happy to hear she was one of three South Carolina players named to the Prepvolleyball.com team.
"It was awesome," Schmidt said. "There were so many good players in South Carolina."
Accompanying Schmidt to Denver on the Midland Volleyball team were other players honored at the HSSR banquet: Lexington teammate Laura Grace Swindler; Lugoff-Elgin's Hannah Dederick; Hammond's Amber Bennett; Aiken's Kiki Hennessey; and Rock Hill's Christina Vereb.
Schmidt is set to start classes at South Carolina this summer to get a jump on college before it's time to start playing for the Gamecocks' volleyball team.
It's a new chapter, without needing to pack the suitcase to head out west again.
"I really like the team," Schmidt said, "and it's kind of close to home but not too close."