It takes work for most student-athletes to excel at one sport, while also earning success in the classroom.
To do so in two takes even more work.
Community Christian senior Alaya Murphy has found a way to make it happen, however.
With nearly 1,900 points and more than 800 rebounds to her credit, Murphy, who has played at the varsity level since seventh grade, has made an impact – though perhaps not well-published – at every turn.
As a standout volleyball player, as well, Murphy practically lives in the gym from August until February, as one season melts into the next.
“It’s a lot of dedication,” Murphy said. “You’ve got to be willing to give up a lot of time. I think it goes into having relationships with a lot of coaches and teammates and being able to have those relationships and work through (it) year after year and sport after sport.”
And, in a school as small as CCA, those relationships build both quickly and deeply.
“It’s a small school, so we’re much closer,” she said. “You’re close with everybody all the time. You never get away. So, we see each other at school as well as on the court.”
When team chemistry is good, antics usually follow. Murphy said Lady Warriors coach Todd Carter was typically the target of said tomfoolery.
“He always wears the same sock toboggan (hat),” Murphy said. “(We’re) just hiding it and taking it away from him. That’s probably my favorite memory.”
But, when the time comes, Murphy is all business, too.
“She’s a great teammate and a great backbone for the team,” senior forward Rachel Harris said. “She supports us and she’s always there for us. I’ve played with her for a long time. She’s very Christian on the team. I really liked having her (there).”
For Carter, Murphy is the kind of player who heralds success, even if the win/loss record doesn’t necessarily reflect it.
“Alaya is a great player for us,” he said. “She usually takes on the heavy lifting of the scoring (and) the rebounding. Many times…most of the time, she’s been the best player on the floor, which might make it extremely difficult when people are keying in on you. In that respect, she has always been there for us and done what it’s taken to have a chance to be successful and to compete.
“She’s very good around the girls. In that respect, she’s done a really good job. I think, over time, things like that wear on you and it’s tough. But, she’s done a good job of weathering through that to get here to the end of her senior season.”