Late start star

Sophomore athlete gets varsity minutes in only her fourth year of playing volleyball


Grace Elder

Chafin sets up her teammate with a set during practice

Making the varsity team for a high school sport after beginning in the seventh grade is something unheard of, but sophomore Macy Chafin has now proven it is not impossible.
Chafin first took up volleyball at SMS only a few years ago. Now, Chafin is in her second season as a varsity player for the Lady Cards.
Chafin first started playing at a camp the summer before her seventh grade year. It was at this camp that one of her coaches convinced her to try out for the team.
“I gravitated towards setting, but I started as a hitter, and then, definitely over quarantine, I practiced a lot and I became more of a setter,” Chafin said.
Being an underclassman on varsity in any sport can be tough. Not only may the upperclassmen have issues with the change, but they can also choose to push underclassmen out of certain activities. However, it is not without it’s perks as well, as it comes with knowledge of upperclassmen and the more mature feel of the game.
“I definitely think all the upperclassmen for the past couple seasons have been really supportive and helped me out with a lot of stuff,” Chafin said. “I probably wouldn’t have been able to do without them.”
With a new varsity role, Chafin had to be able to learn and be open to ideas from the coaches as well as accepting criticism from teammates.
“She is super coachable,” senior team captain Hope Reynolds said. “Anytime someone gives her a criticism or critique, she instantly fixes it.”
A new varsity player has to get acclimated to the game more quickly than a junior varsity player, since what they do has a bigger impact on the outcome of the season. Varsity players have to be ready to get on the court and play.
“She has gotten the quicker pace and also throughout the club season, has helped her be more aggressive,” Reynolds said.
Varsity players should be the best players in the program, on and off the court. It is a starter’s job to lead by example and Chafin is learning how to do just that.
“The big thing I am seeing and what I want to continue to see is her leadership,” head volleyball coach Chelsea Hoffman said. “I want to see her continue to grow in that leadership role.”
Being available to hit, set and serve makes anyone a valuable player, and her coaches have taken notice. Being flexible to change was just one of the ways Chafin showed her coaches that she was ready to play at a higher level.
This season alone, Chafin has 62 kills and 23 blocks. On top of that, she also has 26 aces, where a point is scored off of the serve.
“She is very versatile. Right now I have her playing right side as a hitter, but also as a setter, so she is able to do a lot of things for us,” Hoffman said.
Hard work has proven to be one way that Chafin has transformed herself into a standout player for the Cards. This feat has been achievable because of the support from her friends, family and teammates.