By Jeffrey Batt | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tara Savisky began her journey in elementary school, a time when most kids begin playing sports. A native of Oakdale, Pennsylvania, she originally played soccer and danced, but was introduced to volleyball by her Mama who would “pepper” or hit the ball back and forth with her. When Tara made the high school volleyball team in 7th grade, she realized that volleyball was her true calling, and in 8th grade, she joined Renaissance, a competitive club volleyball team located in Pittsburgh.
Only a few months into the Flagler volleyball season, and a true-Freshman, Savisky, is trying to fill some big shoes on the team as she takes on the starting Setter position. Senior Amelia Morgan is unfortunately out with an injury, but it gives Tara the opportunity to prove to Head Coach Matt Affolder that there is depth at that position, and a strong future for the team. The opportunity comes with a great deal of pressure, but Savisky feels she is up to the task.
“There is definitely pressure to come in and fill big shoes from Amelia, but I am glad I can come in since she is injured and supply what the team needs.”
When there is pressure, one eventually overcomes the disability and Savisky has consumed it well with her perfected technique of passing the volleyball.
“It definitely was a process, but over the past few months I have gotten real close with the girls and it has been great.”
Savisky initially started off as a passer, but then in her freshman year of high school she was trained to be a setter because the senior Setter had graduated, giving her the perfect opportunity to take over, like she is today. The position switch was what got her engine going as she felt confident from the moment she stepped on the court.
“Honestly, my freshman year I knew what my potential was, I came in and I had never been a Setter before. My team made it to states, I knew what my potential was and I had a great coach leading me on.”
Similar to basketball, size can be a concern sometimes and that thought crossed her mind, but she did not let it get to her.
“I knew going to college, it was going to be hard with my size to play at a top level, being at 5’ 7,” I looked at being a passer, but in the end I wanted to be a setter. Getting noticed was key, when you first get there you notice all of the tall girls, but then I knew I could always rely on defense. You can make up for it by contributing in other ways.”
Savisky was originally committed to University of Maryland as a Defensive Specialist, but it ended up not being the right fit for her since they wanted her to play a position that was not in her best interest. After choosing not to be a part of the Maryland program she was stuck until her coach sent out a mass email and luckily Coach Affolder came through.
“He drove all the way from Florida to Lancaster, PA, around 16 hours. It was dedication.”
She eventually knew that meant something and that Flagler was the place to be.
“I thought I could make the most impact here, which is why I came to Flagler being a Setter. I am very happy to be here. It was a transition at first, but it has all worked out.”
She may be fresh to the program, but like many young collegiate athletes she has set goals for herself, short and long term.
“I have to put my heart out on the court every time I step out there with those girls. Win the conference, win regionals and win nationals. We have the potential to be really good.”
The team is currently 18-5 and riding on a five game winning streak as they head west to take on Montevallo this Friday, where they will continue to fight for top of the conference.
Outside of her rigorous schedule, Savisky loves to take photographs, relax on the beautiful beaches of St. Augustine and like most girls is passionate about shopping. Being from western Pennsylvania her favorite sports teams are the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Penguins where she gets to watch her favorite player, Sidney Crosby. Currently, Savisky is majoring in Elementary in Special Education where she will pursue her life-long dream of becoming a teacher.
On the season Savisky has played 89 sets, started all 22 matches, contributed with 211 digs and 29 kills. As the season progresses forward continue to keep your eye out for #5 as she continues to impress the St. Augustine community and the Flagler fan base with her natural talent for the game.