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3A-A volleyball athlete of the year: Claire Felix, TCA
It’s not easy to stand out in a league filled with traditional volleyball powers like CSCS, Manitou Springs and St. Mary’s.
But standing out has never been a problem for Claire Felix
The Classical Academy’s 6-foot-6 sophomore improved throughout the season and helped the Titans to the 3A semifinals in a tumultuous year for the program.
“I was ecstatic when I found out I was the Player of the Year,” said Felix, who led the Titans in kills (356) and points (126). “It was a great feeling that I worked my hardest all year and earned it.
“I really thank my team too for helping me get to this point, because it’s a team game and it takes all 12 people.”
Felix picked up a head of steam as the season wore on. After averaging fewer than 10 kills through her first 12 matches, she exploded for 20 in a key victory over 5A Liberty.
Her big-game performances didn’t stop there. She had 19 kills in a win over St. Mary’s, 13 in a sweep of district host Bayfield and 18 in holding off Faith Christian for a spot at state.
The Titans needed it too, as they struggled through the turmoil of seeing their varsity coaches suspended for the postseason because of a scheduling error.
“This year was so exciting for us,” Felix said. “It was heartbreaking at the end because we wanted to make it to the finals, but we bonded to get through all of the trials of the season.”
Although Felix is a dominant force at the net, she still thinks there is room for improvement in her overall game.
“My strongest aspect is hitting; I have a passion for it,” she said. “But I’d love to be able to work more on being a defensive player and to focus more on the ball when I’m not at the net.”
While Felix has an intense demeanor on the court, she is just a normal teenage girl who likes to paint and draw as well as play tennis and swim for cross-training. She plans to study biology and forge a career in marine biology or forensics.
But before college, Felix will lead her Titans for the next two seasons. And with only four seniors departing from this year’s team, big things may be in store.