Mansfield Summit Volleyball Star Spikes Records and Heads for Stephen F. Austin
Mar 21, 2016 01:03PM
● By Ryan Frisch
It’s no small feat to become the best volleyball player in a 5A school’s history. But that’s just exactly what Xariah Williams has become at Mansfield Summit High School.
She’s a four-year starter who won the school record for career kills, finished last season with 677 kills and won the All District MVP award. Even the Fort Worth Star-Telegram named her 2015 Super Team Volleyball Player of the Year. But she also helped her team reach back-to-back regional semi-finals during the past two seasons.
She says she’s done it all with hard work and dedication and by being very coachable and willing to listen to advice.
Williams is a strong offensive player and fierce competitor who is headed to Stephen F. Austin University on a scholarship. She says she hopes to become a nurse one day. Here’s what else we found out about her.
How long have you been interested in playing volleyball? I started out being interested in volleyball in elementary school when my mom put me in the YMCA, and ever since that I loved the game. It wasn't until the 8th grade that I got serious about it and started to play club ball.
Do you prefer offense or defense? I prefer offense. That’s the strongest part of my game, and to me it's the most exciting.
What skills does it take to be good at volleyball? In order to be good at volleyball you need to be very coachable and take constructive criticism. Other than learning how to play the game, it's important that you work hard and stay positive. The most important characteristic of being a good volleyball player to me is to think that anything is possible, don't be intimidated.
Do you play other sports? I run track at my school and absolutely love it because it also helps me with my endurance during club season. I don’t ever get out of shape, which is great!
What other teams/leagues have you played in? The first club that I started at was One 10, and I played there for three years until my junior year. Junior year I played at Ellis County Juniors. Currently I play for Ace's 18's top team.
Tell us about your plans for your volleyball career. This year with my club team I plan on going to nationals and placing, just like I did last year. For volleyball out of high school, I plan on playing at Stephen F. Austin for four years and transforming myself into the great volleyball player I know I can be.
How did it feel to be awarded a college scholarship? It was truly a blessing to have been awarded a Division One scholarship. I remember being younger and always looking at the older volleyball players at tournaments and hearing what college they're committing too, and how high ranked they are and I've always wanted that to be me. Freshman year I told myself I was going to play college ball and years later my goal came true.
Speaking of awards, how does it feel to be recognized as All-District MVP and 2015 Star Telegram Super Team Volleyball Player of the Year? It feels amazing to be given those awards. There was a lot of talent I was competing against and to be picked was a blessing.
You also broke another school volleyball record? Yes, I broke the record for having the most kills in Summit Volleyball history. Every year I've been there I have been kill leader for the team. However, the number of kills from freshman year (282) to senior (687) has shown how much growth I've made from all four years of high school.
How much practice/training does volleyball require? It requires a good amount of practice and training. I would say practicing five days out of the week is a necessity for me during school. Having a lot of those reps and touches on a daily basis is very important.
What role have coaches played in your sports life? Every single coach I've had from school to club volleyball has impacted my sports life tremendously. Everything they've taught me has made be the player I am today and I'm thankful to them all.
What was the greatest game or play you were ever involved in and tell us what happened? The best game I’ve played in my career I would say would be the game we needed to win at nationals in order to get into the gold bracket. During that game in the second half, we were down by 10 points. I remember being so anxious and nervous because I knew if we didn't win this game we wouldn't have a chance at placing. We put up a huge fight, and came back from that 10-point hole we dug ourselves into. I've never hustled so hard and threw myself for balls on the floor in my entire life. We won that game and it was an amazing feeling.
Who are some of your sports/volleyball heroes? One of my sports heroes would be my brother. During high school he was an amazing athlete and always worked so hard to achieve his goals. He was an amazing track runner and a great football player. I wanted to be better than him.
Tell us about this year’s district playoffs? This year we went four rounds into the playoffs and finally got back to the regional tournament again. Unfortunately, we lost to the same team we did last year, Lovejoy. Playoffs were great though and the team overcame a lot of battles during the season.
What’s next for your volleyball career? Next up for my volleyball career is playing at Stephen F. Austin at the next level. I am so excited to play there and hopefully will make a big contribution to the team.
Describe how your family has supported your interest? My family has supported me tremendously. They have been there for me in my terrible times. My mom has always been there for me in my worst times and my great ones. My brother has helped me out a lot and has given me that extra push to overcome my troubles.
What kind of student are you? Favorite subject? I would say I'm a good student. I try my best to get good grades, however I would say I am the biggest procrastinator in the whole wide world. My favorite subject would be math.
Other interests/hobbies? I love hanging out with my friends and exploring stuff I've never seen before. I would say my hobbies are eating and spending money because that's all I do.
What do you do in your spare time? In my spare time I'm either sleeping, cleaning my room that always seems to be dirty, or hanging out with my friends that I can't get enough of.
How would you describe your personality? I would say I have a cool funny personality. I'm very goofy and can always take a joke and make a joke. I don't like to be down in the dumps and when I am it’s very rare.
What do you plan to study in college? I’m majoring in nursing at Stephen F. Austin. I am not completely sure what type of nurse I will be but I will eventually figure that out.
What do you like the most about going to school in Mansfield? What I like most would be how close the people in the Mansfield district are. If one team would be in the playoffs all of the other schools would go and support them, like how we did when Lakeridge’s football team went to state this year. We’re also there for each other when there’s a tragedy that hits one school, which has happened a few times throughout the year. I guess you could say we're one big family.
What kind of career do you want to go into after college? I have really thought about working super hard to have the opportunity to play overseas. However, if things don't go the way I planned I will continue with my dreams of going into the medical field.
Who has inspired you and why? I would say every athlete I've seen play college volleyball has inspired me. I want to be one of the greatest volleyball players out there and seeing great players play great volleyball just makes me want to achieve my dream and make it happen.
Ice cream or apple pie? Ice cream! Birthday cake flavored ice cream is the best ever!
Food indulgence? I love food. All the money I’ve made goes 95 percent towards food and it’s all worth it. I like all food except for Chinese food, it’s not really my thing. Right now my favorite place to eat is Wing Stop, I haven't gotten tired of it.
What are you most proud of? I would say I’m most proud of receiving a scholarship to play the sport I love. Not a lot of people can or will get that opportunity and I am so proud of myself for being able to do that.