PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Alyssa Hughes’ impact on the Jesuit volleyball team is obvious: She has one of the best hitting percentages in the state, and on a team with few seniors, the junior has taken the leadership lead — a skill that’s apparent by watching a single set.
But the extent of Hughes’ impact on the Crusaders, a team-chasing 6A-state success, might even go beyond the star’s knowledge.
“She’s so much better than she thinks she is,” said Jesuit head coach Teresa Zimmerlee, “and she does a lot for us.”
It starts with Hughes’ spike, a kill-shot with nearly every attempt. It’s an ability not lost in Zimmerlee’s mind.
“It’s very important because that means she puts the ball down a lot when she gets the opportunity,” Hughes’ coach said. “She’s attacking the ball and putting it on the floor
“She has more kills per attempt than anyone else.”
Hughes’ all-around impact is punctuated by how she mixes in and leads with the rest of her teammates. Being a good teammate starts at home for Hughes. In the Hughes household, volleyball is a staple.
“It’s been a way to connect with my family because my parents coached me when I was little and my sisters always played it,” Hughes said, “so it’s kind of a way to connect with my family and it’s just a part of our family.”
Hughes senses the same family atmosphere with her Crusaders teammates.
“It’s nice because we’re all so close because we’re all kind of around the same age,” Hughes said, “but we like, instead of a couple seniors being leaders, all of us have to kind of like hold each other accountable and stay as like leaders on the team.”
Hughes’ ability off the court and on it will be the reason, her coach said, that a college program will get very lucky by adding her.
“Alyssa’s a great athlete, she does track in the spring, and I think that she’s going to get better and better as time goes on,” Zimmerlee said, “and she’ll be a force to be reckoned with and I think she’ll step up to the next level and do a tremendous job for whichever college picks her up.”