Garden Plain volleyball
Patterson, a senior libero, has played a key role in getting Garden Plain back to the Class 3A tournament. The Owls are hoping to win their second 3A title in three seasons.
How did your team approach this season?
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"At the very beginning of the season, our theme was Flight 1549, the plane that landed in the Hudson (River). We talked about all those things — communication, preparation, execution, all the things that the pilot and the flight attendants had to do. We put that in our season — how we would have to prepare for the season, the execution and communication we would need as team.... We've been focusing on that theme all year."
Do you enjoy being a libero?
"Our blocks will get amazing touches, and I love running after them and giving a pass that gives the hitters another chance to hit.
"It's a leadership role — telling them what holes are open or (saying) 'amazing save' to our setters when we pass it too tight to the net."
Garden Plain has so many multi-sport athletes, but you aren't one. Why?
"Half the girls on our team play all three sports, and they're good in every sport. I knew I loved volleyball, I knew it's what I wanted to do, I knew if I wanted to go to the next level, I'd have to make commitments early on in life. But mainly, I love the sport and love to play."
Is it true you used to be in equestrian?
"I rode (horses) for nine years. I started riding locally in Wichita and, naturally, the sport wasn't growing, so I got a horse and moved it to Kansas City. My parents were driving me every other weekend to ride the horse. We traveled to Illinois, to Kentucky for the world championship. I'm not a backyard sport kind of girl.
"I was top 10 at nationals. That was my top. It was a financial issue, though, so that was my last year, 2007."
Do you miss equestrian?
"I do. I think it's something that hopefully, when I'm older and coaching volleyball, I'd have horses in my backyard. That would be my ideal life.
"I am leaning toward being a coach. (Coach Gina Clark) inspires me in practice. The years I've had with her, she's pushed me. I feel that's my calling."