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Katy Pedersen is leading the North Branford volleyball squad as the team’s libero and a senior captain this season. (Photo courtesy of Katy Pedersen )
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Katy Pedersen started her volleyball career as a freshman at North Branford and took on the role of a defensive specialist for the Thunderbirds. Katy earned the job as North Branford’s libero during her sophomore season and has held on to that role for the past three years. Now a senior, Katy is also leading the T-Birds as one of their captains.
“I was clueless to begin, but the seniors at the time were positive and motivating. Everyone was patient, and I think it built my confidence to have a positive impact on the court,” Katy says. “I had a lot of support from [assistant] coach Jake Sweet. He taught me a lot of skills, along with [former Head Coach] Cera Orner.”
Katy had to deal with some challenges when she first stepped on the varsity court as a sophomore. However, Katy eventually settled in to playing libero and welcomed the leadership responsibilities that accompany the position.
“At the beginning, it was nerve-wracking, because the other girls were older than me, and I didn’t want to be rude,” says Katy. “I think my leadership skills at libero helped me grow to be more confident. Now, it’s fun to be in charge of the back row and helping the other girls out.”
Katy’s ability to lead the team led to her being named a senior captain for North Branford this year. Katy feels that her previous experience of taking charge on the floor made it easier for her to transition into that role.
“I enjoy being captain, because the younger girls look up to me and see me as someone they can go to,” Katy says. “I feel it’s good to be recognized as someone who can help the team in a positive way in multiple aspects.”
Katy has punched up more and more digs for the Thunderbirds with each passing season. After totaling 223 digs last year, she has already recorded 238 in her senior campaign this fall. As the libero, Katy knows that she gets the wheels in motion for North Branford on every play.
“I usually get the first pass, which sets up the rest of the play,” says Katy. “I’m able to set up success for others. I think my position helps others do their best.”
Head Coach Tori Ramada says that Katy is making an immense impact on her squad. Ramada believes that Katy’s athleticism and attitude are a major positive for everyone involved.
“Katy’s outstanding defensive abilities are the backbone of our team’s offense and defense. Her ability to cover the court and pass effectively when the other team serves and hits allows our girls to focus on setting up our attackers to generate offense,” Coach Ramada says. “Katy’s humility also serves as a shining example of her character, leading the girls by example on and off the court.”
Aside from volleyball, Katy also plays for the North Branford softball team. Katy, who has helped the T-Birds win three-straight Shoreline Conference titles, has a career batting average of .353 on 85 hits to go with 66 runs scored, 69 RBI, and a pair of home runs.
“The team’s success from early on motivated me to work as hard as everyone else around me,” says Katy. “The older girls pushed me, and their success led me to my success.”
Having played for a winning softball team since her freshman year, Katy wants to help the volleyball squad develop a foundation for future success. One of the most important things that Katy focuses on is bringing consistency to the court.
“We try to do our best during practices and games. We work hard, have a positive attitude, and pick each other up,” Katy says. “I’m also vocal. We can’t be afraid to accept criticism or advice from our peers and coaches.”
As much as Katy loves softball, she thinks that her senior season at North Branford will mark her final year playing the sport. Katy is looking to continue volleyball by competing at the club level when she gets to college.
“I’m interested in playing club volleyball. I’ve been playing softball for a very long time now, and I just want to branch out and work on a new skill to make myself more well-rounded,” says Katy. “Volleyball is very fast-paced and unpredictable, which makes it very exciting to play.”
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