Our newest Aussie sports star: "I didn't sleep at all"
VOLLEYBALL: A restless night could only mean a great thing for volleyball star Scarlett Rudder.
She has just been selected to represent Australia's youth side for the The Championship Tournament which will be held at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma from July 24-28.
"When my father told me the news I was ecstatic, I actually didn't sleep at all that night because I was so happy," Tannum Sands High School student Scarlett said.
Prior to the championship start date, the Aussie team have a training camp at one of the colleges in Tulsa and Scarlett will travel with the other team members to Tulsa on July 19.
Scarlett, who plays as a spiker, passer as well as an opposite and a middle, began her volleyball journey as a child and surprisingly it didn't come until recently that she started playing competitively.
"I started playing volleyball about six years ago with my three brothers and mum and dad. Even though I started playing volleyball a while ago, I only started playing competitively about two years ago," she said.
The High Performance Championships is one of USA Volleyball's flagship events.
The event will have more than 100 teams and will feature tournaments for both boys and girls that include teams from USA volleyball region high-performance teams, international teams and teams from the USA Volleyball high performance pipeline.
Past international teams have included Brazil, Chile, China, Dominican Republic, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Puerto Rico.
Scarlett said that she plays against adult men and women on a regular basis each week and that has fast-tracked her development.
"As we live in a small community, I only train once a week on a Tuesday for three hours as well as play games on a Thursday night which is not a lot compared to those who are in full time programs," she said.
"Mostly, it involves lots of games that prepare us to compete, and it helps that we play the men and women together. That way I am blocking and defending against much harder opposition than I would normally see. It helps."
Scarlett comes from a great volleyball family. Her oldest brother Connor plays for Queensland Pirates in the Australian Volleyball League.
"I would actually have to say my entire family has influenced my volleyball and my father Terry as my coach, my mother who has had to drive to countless trainings in Brisbane. My brother James who has helped me build resilience and my other brother Kiall as he always pushes me to play at my best and is always there if I want to hit the ball around in the front yard," she said.