Four-year varsity player gains confidence on the court
Playing on varsity for a fourth consecutive year and leading the team as co-captain, senior Kaylie Clem strives to act as a role model to her teammates. Gaining the second spot in league drives Clem to become a better player while also encouraging those around her.
At a young age, Clem started participating in many athletic activities. She took dance and gymnastics, then branched out and participated in tee-ball, soccer and tennis. In fifth grade, Clem decided to play volleyball as all of her friends enjoyed the sport. Falling in love with the game, she took part in many summer volleyball camps and played volleyball all four years of high school.
Clem officially plays the role of libero after sharing the position with senior Sophia Kalugian for most of the season. Playing back row requires her to dig balls and defend her team from hard hits. Although playing the position requires dedication and strength, Clem excels in the role and sets an example for the team.
But Clem has had her fair share of challenges, especially involving her size on the court.
“One of the biggest challenges was obviously my size,” Clem said. “I’m a lot smaller than the people we play against and that really scared me my freshman year. But I think the more I played throughout high school, I’ve realized that it doesn’t matter what my size is. I can play and I can dig really tall girls and that’s one of the most fun part about volleyball to me.”
Clem’s family loves to watch her play volleyball and support her in her games. Her brother, Kyle Clem, ’21, looks up to his sister as well as cheers her on as she plays on the court. He admires her passion for the sport as well as her love for others.
“I love watching her play because when she is out there she always is just having fun,” Kyle said. “I look up to her probably because she has already done high school, so she can help me so much with stuff I’m going through. So I can ask her different questions because she has done that already.”
Clem’s joy and enthusiasm shines brightly to junior Megan LeBlanc, who grew up with Clem in volleyball. She has noticed Clem’s improvements over the years and appreciates her kind personality on the court.
“She has grown so much in confidence,” LeBlanc said. “Her progress in two years has grown and I believe it’s because her confidence in herself went up. I look up to her because I wish to have the same joyful heart and happy personality that she spreads to everyone. Her kind nature is truly contagious.”
As senior year continues and Clem experiences her lasts at FCS, mother Rhonda Clem explains how she feels about her daughter’s final year of high school.
“Well once we get past the sadness of graduation, we are excited for the future and anxious for new chapters to begin,” Rhonda said. “We are excited to see where God takes her to college, and to meet the new friends she will make, and to see how God will use the gifts and passions that He has revealed to her during her time at Fresno Christian.”
Clem hopes to continue her volleyball career playing on an intramural team while she attends college. Not knowing what specific college she wants to attend, Clem applies to Cal Baptist, Point Loma, Fresno Pacific and possibly others. She appreciates the volleyball experience she received at FCS and hopes to treasure the memories forever.
“I’m going to miss the family bond I created through volleyball so much,” Clem said. “My volleyball team is truly like a family to me, and I love each of them so much. I’m especially going to miss Julia (Fikse), Sophia (Kalugain) and Kamryn (Schultz) because it has been us four together since freshman year, growing so close throughout those four years together. I’m going to miss them, and everyone else so much.”
The team placed second overall in their league and made it to the Central Section CIF Les Schwab Girls Volleyball Championships. Although their season ended with a defeat from Kerman, the team continues to remember their successes and anticipates next year.@thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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