For Ocoee High senior Mallory Farley, the 2019-20 season not only marks the last of her high-school volleyball career, but also she is the last of four Farley siblings to matriculate through OHS’ volleyball team. Volleyball runs in the family, and it shows — Mallory has been playing the sport since she was in the third grade, and she has played on the varsity team at Ocoee for four years.
Why did you start playing volleyball?
It’s kind of just a family thing. Everyone in my family plays it, so I’ve grown up around it. I have three other siblings, and they’ve all played with Coach Lee, so we’ve all been through this school for nine years.
How do you feel about it being your last year, and the end of your sibling legacy, with Ocoee volleyball?
It’s definitely very upsetting, because I’ve been with the team and I’ve been practicing with them since sixth grade — I would come during the summer. It breaks my heart a little bit to leave, but I’m excited to move on to greener pastures.
Is there a big difference between volleyball culture in Missouri and here?
It was definitely taken more seriously in Missouri, because every girl played volleyball — that was just a thing you had to do. And so it was a lot more competitive going into like middle school, so the high-school girls were better.
You participate in the athletic training program at Ocoee. What made you want to do it?
I help with the football team, give them water, tape up their wrists, stretch them out. I’m at all the sports events, pretty much, helping out. I’ve always wanted to do it because I’ve obviously always been into athletics, and I’m also very into the medical field. It’s a good combination of both. It piqued my interest.
What’s your favorite thing about this particular group of girls you get to play with this season?
They’re all just so funny, and our chemistry is also great. We bonded more this year than we have in the past years, so we feel like we can talk to each other about anything if we’re not feeling good that day. We can always count on each other to raise each other up.
As a team captain, you’re looked upon as a leader. Describe that responsibility.
It’s honestly been great. I love mentoring people. There’s a girl (who) came in, and I had played with her in middle school. I taught her how to serve and now I’m like seeing her grow, and it’s really fun to watch them get better, especially if the advice came from me. And it’s definitely fun planning events outside of volleyball and just getting to do bonding experiences and getting to know them more.
What’s your favorite part about playing volleyball?
Definitely staying fit and staying in shape, and always being on top of my game. I always feel better when I’m playing volleyball than if I’m off for a season. I just love being the best that I can be.