Horton loves volleyball

Published 5:25 pm Saturday, November 18, 2017

Ryan Horton was voted Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week after having a career-high 50 assists in a Lady Saints’ win over Fredericksburg Christian School.

Horton enjoyed a successful junior season for the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy volleyball team. She was part of a team that was the TCIS regular-season champions and advanced all the way to the state semifinals.

NSA got to the state semifinal game after a win over Fredericksburg Christian School. Horton’s 50 assists came as a shock when she heard what she had done.

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“I was completely surprised and had no idea,” she said. “I was so excited to reach my career high in the final week of the season. My teammates had a great night that night. My success was achieved through my team’s success.”

Horton felt this season was special for many reasons, and one of them was that NSA was not expected to do what they did. Horton believed her team would be able to prove people wrong and felt at the end of the day that NSA’s season was about more than just volleyball.

“Even though we did not get a state title that we wanted, our season was more than just that,” she said. “We built a team that believed in each other and trusted our coach.”

Horton’s goals for this season were to play for her teammates and improve as a player. She felt she did both, and she credited Lady Saints coach Robyn Ross, by who has inspired her, for her development.

Ross spent countless hours with Horton, working to improve her game. Ross says she remembers seeing Horton at club practice and told her that her vision for her was at setter. Since then Horton has made significant progress, and Ross said she is lucky to coach her.

“Ryan is the athlete every coach dreams of,” Ross said. “She has worked so hard to become the quarterback of this team and became such a great leader. She is such a fighter and hates to lose, which are just a couple of the many things I love about her. She never stopped fighting this season — never stopped encouraging her teammates.”

Horton prides herself on always encouraging her teammates. In volleyball, mistakes are bound to happen, and Horton tries to keep her team spirits high, even in the face of the mistakes. She is passionate about volleyball and loves every opportunity she gets to step on the court.

“I just love this sport and my teammates,” she said. “They all work hard, and they push me to work hard.”

In her spare time, Horton loves to sing. She even sings on the court occasionally . The school lets her sing the National Anthem for the home games. And when she is not on the volleyball court, she’s often rehearsing for a musical or a play.