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Setting her life in motion

Senior Ryleigh Taylor commits to a D1 college

Senior+Ryleigh+Taylor+sets+a+volleyball+in+the+arena.
Senior Ryleigh Taylor sets a volleyball in the arena.

Senior Ryleigh Taylor sets a volleyball in the arena.

Photo by Jayden Warren

Photo by Jayden Warren

Senior Ryleigh Taylor sets a volleyball in the arena.

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With 25 to 17 on the scoreboard, the varsity volleyball girls end the match behind by eight. Head coach Libby Rodriguez calls a timeout. As 17 sweaty bodies huddle up, the captain says, “Come on you guys, we are almost there we can totally beat them.”

This was it, they were about to begin the last match of the game, head to head against L.D Bell. With one more match to win the game, the stakes were high.

After the huddle the captain continued to motivate her team and ended the game with a 3 to 2 win. Senior Ryleigh Taylor has never been more thankful for her team. Early in her childhood Taylor was introduced to the sport of volleyball, becoming infatuated with the competitiveness.

It was when she turned 9 that her passion really began growing for the sport.

“I’m dedicated and I worked for this for so long and I’m not going to let anything get in my way,” Taylor said. “I just work really hard.”

At practice Taylor is in the zone. Just like the L.D Bell game, she will give 100 percent every time no matter where she is: team dinners, practices or competitions.

“She will put in as much work as possible to make the best out of every situation,” junior Christina Cowsert said. “Every pass may not be perfect but she will do everything she can.”

Passion seeps through Taylor every time she plays. Without fail she leaves her heart on the court and that drive is visible with every set and command she completes.

“I think that Ryleigh’s love and passion for the game of volleyball is definitely something that keeps her going,” Rodriguez said. “When she plays you can see how much she loves the game.”

Similarly to Taylor’s passion for volleyball she also is determined to be in a community that maintains its identity.

“I picked Bethune-Cookman because it is a historically black college,” Taylor said. “I always wanted to go to a traditional school that has a lot of tradition.”

Midseason Taylor suffered from a concussion; due to the set back, the injury gave her a new insight to how much volleyball impacts her life. She began to cherish and appreciate the game more than ever.

“I just recently had a concussion, and I was out for the last half of the season and it made me miss it a lot more,” Taylor said. “So now I treasure it a lot more than I did before.”

Volleyball is just a sport, but to Taylor, volleyball is a part of who she and is what she loves to do.

“I’ve been doing it so long it’s kind of like a constant in my life, like a heartbeat,” Taylor said. “It is something I’m used to.”

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Setting her life in motion