A senior outside hitter on the Dr. Phillips volleyball team, Alexis Distasio is hoping to make her final year as a Panther count, despite the shortened nature of the season because of COVID-19. Luckily, Distasio will have more playing time post-DP: She will continue her playing career at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts.
When did you first start playing volleyball?
I started volleyball in the sixth grade. I started getting into it because a bunch of the girls at my school — like Olivia (Osuna) and Kaley (Landis) — were playing volleyball, and I just wanted to try it out for myself and see if it was a good sport for me.
What has kept you playing volleyball for so long?
I think how competitive it is — it’s really fun. You just get a lot of adrenaline when you’re playing, and it makes it better when you’re playing with your best friends.
What is your favorite part about playing outside hitter? The most challenging part?
My favorite part is also the most challenging part. Being an outside, you have to be very well-rounded. You have to be able to fix everything, and you don’t only have to hit — you have to pass and play defense. Being a well-rounded player is honestly very helpful, and I’m very grateful for that, but it’s also super challenging because a lot of the other positions are very reliant on you.
What was the hardest thing that you had to learn when you first started playing volleyball?
It took the most time for me to learn how to have more confidence in myself and knowing that I have a whole team to support me.
Beyond your own position, what is the most challenging part about volleyball?
Keeping a strong mindset the whole time, because it’s very hard to be positive all the time if you’re not winning and you’re not doing good — so trying to be positive and have an open mind.
Did you ever expect your senior season to go the way it has gone so far?
Obviously, I wasn’t expecting this (pandemic) to happen, and I didn’t know if I was going to have a season for the last year, but we expect to be really successful this year. We have a really good, well-rounded team, and I’m really excited to see what we do.
Coming into your senior season, was there anything you were hoping to work on?
I’m going to try to work on preparing myself for club season and college. I know defense is a really important part of the game, and I feel like I could personally work on that.
What happens after you graduate? What are you most excited about?
I committed to playing college volleyball at Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts, so I’ll still be playing and furthering my academic career in Massachusetts. I’m really excited to see how much I’ve grown as a player, and I’m really excited to play with new girls that I’ve never even met before. I’m really excited to see what happens.