By: Nate Calvin
SWANTON – Swanton’s Sofie Taylor recently wrapped up a high school volleyball career that certainly puts her among the best to ever play volleyball for the Lady Bulldogs.
Taylor hold school records for career assists (3,039), assists in a season (867) and career aces with 240.
The 3,039 assists put her seventh all-time in the OHSAA State Record Book and the 240 aces ranks her 27th all-time, both firsts in the history of the Swanton volleyball program.
Along with the records, Taylor was honorable mention NWOAL and District 7 in 2019, 1st team NWOAL and 2nd team District 7 in 2020, 1st team NWOAL and District 7 in both 2021 and 2022 and was chosen as the NWOAL Player of the Year and the District 7 Player of the Year this season.
“Sofie is a fierce competitor on the court. Her competitiveness and natural athleticism has allowed her to be instrumental in doing a lot of what she does on the court”, commented head coach Kyle Borer.
“She played hard the whole match, every match and was determined to help her team in any way she could to be successful.”
“She was always diving all over the floor defensively and leading by example in that way. She gets the ball to our hitters efficiently even when she has to chase it down”, added Borer who just completed his 10th season in Swanton.
“She is very accurate with her ball placement to give her hitters great sets to attack. She is a very smart setter and knows where to set the ball to keep the opponent’s blockers and defense guessing.”
“She is very good at getting her hitters one on one matchups at the net. She has also been very effective serving for us as she gets a lot of aces and keeps teams out of system on their serve receive.”
Taylor started her high school career playing a different position with no thought of being a setter. “When my career started, I had figured I was going to be an outside hitter, so I had no thoughts of achieving what I did.”
“When I was coming into my freshman year, coach Borer said something to me about working on setting.”
“My first thought was that it would be an absolute no, I wanted nothing to do with that. I had never played as a setter prior to high school so it was a shock to me.”
“Looking back, I am so glad that I was able to be flexible and coachable because that small decision my coach made to have me set has given me the best memories and the best career I could have asked for”, added Taylor.
“I don’t think my accomplishments have really come full circle to me yet”, Taylor continued.
“I felt as if I was playing just playing volleyball, just doing what I do, just having fun. Every year my coach at the very start of the season makes us fill out goal sheets.”
“One of my personal goals was to obtain 3,000 assists. I knew it would take a lot of hard work to get there. I honestly did not think I was going to get to that number.”
“This accomplishment has shown me that hard work really does pay off, all the small things I do can have a huge impact if I just keep showing up”, said Taylor who also was involved in track, softball, and basketball in middle school before deciding to focus on volleyball in high school.
“My family has had a huge impact on my athletic success. My two older sisters were both very athletic, so I obviously wanted to be just as good as them and strive to one-up them.”
“You know how that sibling competitiveness is”, commented Taylor when asked about the role her family has played in her career.
“I do not think either of my sisters know how much of an impact they had on my success. Both of them always pushed me so hard to be the best I could be.”
“My oldest sister, Sidney, used to try and play volleyball with me in the backyard when we were little, and she would get so mad that I wasn’t very good.”
“I swear she used to hit volleyballs at me as hard as she could. Probably has made me cry a few more times than I would like to admit. I credit all my success to that.”
When I was younger, I was a ball girl for the varsity team. I used to watch those girls like they were godsent. I used to think my sister was the Lebron James of volleyball.”
“My other older sister, Samantha, always helped me be emotionally in the game. If I had a bad game, she would sure tell me about it.”
“Not to upset me not to be the mean older sister, but to get me to work harder. I don’t think I have a bigger fan than she is”, said Taylor, who also has a younger sister, Ella.
“I could probably tear up talking about my parents influence on my success. Both my mom (Sabrina) and dad (Robert) from the earliest days of my volleyball career never let me miss a thing.”
“Never let me miss out on any type of opportunities. Having them be so supportive of me for so many years has made me into the player I am today”
“I can’t thank my family enough for the constant support they have given me throughout the years.”
Taylor grew into the setter position as her career evolved, something Borer saw firsthand over the past four years.
“She has matured in her game in many ways. I think her understanding of the game has grown a lot since her freshman year”, said Borer.
“She didn’t come into high school as a setter, but she was willing to play that position since that’s what the team needed and learn a lot on the fly.”
“I believe she is pretty happy with how her volleyball career has gone since that point. She has had a lot of experience playing which has helped her to assist her teammates on the court during play.”
“Her setting accuracy, decision making, ability to keep the defense off balance, attacking as a setter, blocking, and defense have shown improvements as well and helped the team be more successful overall”, elaborated Borer.
“Sofie has been the most accomplished setter in Swanton volleyball history. She was a talented athlete and skilled in volleyball at a young age, but all the hard work and time she has put in has resulted in all of these elite accomplishments.”
“She would be the first to tell you that her accomplishments would not have happened without the great teammates she has had the pleasure of playing with over the past four years. She has definitely left her mark on this program”, concluded Borer.
Taylor plans to attend college to pursue a degree in marketing but is not certain if she wants to play volleyball at the next level.
“I am uncommitted and not sure if I will play volleyball in college. Which to most people is a shock but I want to really enjoy where I spend the next chapter of my life.”
“I don’t want to decide to go to a certain school just to play volleyball and then regret going to that school. I am excited to see how my cards play out”, she added.
Nate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org