Gigi Speer: Voracious Volleyballer
Gigi Speer ’18, captain of the 2017 Varsity Volleyball Team, has dedicated her time to volleyball since pre-season of her freshman year. Speer “took Hopkins by storm,” according to co-captain Sam Dies ’18.
Though Speer was only a freshman, she had already made the cut to the Varsity Volleyball team - and she only advanced from there. Speer’s coach, Sheena Shen, said, “Gigi has improved a lot since the beginning of her freshman year.” Dies said that Speer’s “work ethic and bubbling enthusiasm definitely set her apart from the group. She is always working to improve both herself and her teammates.”
As captain of the 2017 team, Speer enforced her “Power of One” motto, “which means one team, where everyone’s all for one and one for all.” Speer’s strong team spirit and drive was evident. Casey Dies ’20 said, “[Speer] wants the team as a whole to improve and is always looking out for things she can teach others… [Speer has] high energy. She’s fun. But she knows how to get progress."
While Speer remains focused on building the team’s camaraderie, she has achieved a lot herself as well. In her sophomore year, she earned the 2014 Most Improved Award, and in 2017, she is an All-Star player. She is a four year Varsity letter winner. Shen said, “She became the team captain in the last season and was in our starting lineup. Sam and Gigi are very good captains this year. With their leadership, we had a solid season.”
According to Speer, the team has taught her the value of teamwork and collaboration. “Volleyball is all about practice-passing, serving, hitting, and learning how to play with five other people on the court… they [the team] push me to be my best and put in those extra hours. [I have learned from my sport] to be a team player. You have to give your all in practice, communicate with the coaches and players, and know what’s going on.”
Although captaining the team called for tenacity and discipline, Speer was glad to say the season was a success - “the team was one and I could not be more happy.”
Speer plans to continue playing volleyball after high school. “I will definitely find a way to play, whether it be beach volleyball over the summer or playing on my college’s team or club team.”