November’s athlete of the month is junior Ari Sysum. The athletically gifted outside hitter, and defensive has made a major impact on the Eaton Rapids Varsity Volleyball team. Ari boasts impressive stats that rank amongst the top in the area. Ari averages 3.9 digs per set, which ranks 9th in the Greater Lansing area. She also averages 2 kills per set, which ranks as 18th in the Greater Lansing area. With an overall record of 14-17, Ari has been a bright spot in the volleyball program as the team looks to build off of the youth they have.
Ari has been a major part of every Eaton Rapids win this season, being a stats leader for most of the Greyhounds victories. Ari’s amazing performances have been crucial this season as she’s been a major part of the Greyhounds amazing tournament success as the team currently holds a record of 11-3 over 3 tournaments.
Senior teammate Chloe Wartenbe describes Ari’s impact on the team this year, “Ari’s a leader, she’s a dedicated, all around player that leads us both on the floor and in practice. She makes big plays when we need it, and that’s why she’s a floor captain this year.” When asked about her performance this year, Ari said,” I thought I did pretty good this year, I think I could improve on my blocking, but other than that I thought it was a good season.”
According to MaxPreps, Ari is the 288th player in the state of Michigan this year, and going into her senior year you can expect that number to drop.When asked how she felt about her current ranking, Ari said, “That is very exciting ! It really shows that all the hard work I’ve been putting in is paying off. Hopefully by next year I can be in the top 100.” With stats like kills, total blocks, digs, and aces far above the national average, it is apparent that Ari Sysum is a star that could lead Eaton Rapids to a lot of success. Expectation for next year are a district championship according to Ari, with personal goals of being “a top player in the area.” The future is bright for Eaton Rapids volleyball behind Ari Sysum, as she continues to grow stronger as a player and a leader.
-article by Mathieu Norcross, Sports Editor, The Bark
-picture by Isabell Ausel