Recruited Athlete Profile: Ashley Warren - Volleyball
Ashley Warren ’20, second-year co-captain of the Girls Varsity Volleyball team, has been verbally committed to the United States Naval Academy since the summer after her eighth-grade year and signed her National Letter of Intent last fall.
Ashley Warren ’20, second-year co-captain of the Girls Varsity Volleyball team, has been verbally committed to the United States Naval Academy since the summer after her eighth-grade year and signed her National Letter of Intent last fall. However, volleyball has been more than just a means of getting into college for Warren – “I gave up every other sport for it. It’s pretty much my life and my world, and I wouldn’t be who I am without it,” she said.
Warren began playing volleyball in sixth grade after having tried it as an intramural sport. “I just fell in love with it,” she said. At the time, a family friend referred Warren to East Coast (EC) Power Volleyball, so she tried out and made the top team. She has played for them every year since. Last year, Warren played for the EC Power King of Prussia 17-Steel team, the top 17U team. This winter, she’s on track to make the top 18U team, 18-Royal.
Playing on the EC Power teams requires immense dedication. For Warren, the struggle is even greater, as not only does she have to balance Lawrenceville academics with Girls Varsity Volleyball and later captaining Girls Varsity Indoor Track this winter, but she also has to take part in travel team practices and tournaments as well. Starting in late October, the girls have to attend three practices weekly, each for three hours at a time: one hour for physical training and two hours of on-court practice. However, the practices are located one hour away from Warren’s house, so each practice takes a total of more than five hours out of her day. She leaves right after Lawrenceville sports and doesn’t return home until late at night when she finally starts her homework. “That’s pretty much my day,” she said.
In December, the travel team begins participating in tournaments almost every weekend which causes Warren to miss countless Saturday classes. “It’s really hard to get back [on Sunday night] and have to figure out all my work,” Warren said. She admitted that she struggled with time management and planning ahead in her III Form year, but luckily she “kinda got the hang of it IV Form year.” If Warren makes the top EC Power team this year, she will have more tournaments than ever before, “so I’ll have to be away and busy basically every weekend,” she said. In order to maintain her academics, Warren utilizes the numerous plane rides and car rides to get schoolwork done. “I always prioritize the classes I’m missing the most, usually D period,” she said. Even at tournaments, “I always work. Even when I’m not playing, I am in the hotel room writing a paper or doing some work,” said Warren. After returning, she also makes sure to go to consult almost every day.
Besides playing for her travel team, Warren also goes on runs and works out often. “I’ve grown much stronger physically,” she said. Warren also credits a lot of her mental growth to volleyball. The strategy, teamwork, and leadership required to participate in and captain the Lawrenceville Girls Varsity Volleyball team for two years has taught her resilience and how to keep calm under pressure. She gave the example that “you can’t win everything – you just have to adapt and overcome, especially when it’s a tough game or you’re down a couple of points and it’s the tiebreaking set or something like that.” Lessons like these have also carried over into her schoolwork, allowing Warren to improve her academics as well. Despite being committed herself, Warren still holds high expectations and hopes for her final season on the Lawrenceville team. “I mainly want to win the [New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJISAA)] tournament to go out with a bang, and I want to beat our record of 15-3 from last year,” she said. The team currently holds a record of 6-1. In her past three seasons at Lawrenceville, they have only made it to the NJISAA semifinals once; however, Warren looks forward to trying again.
Being a captain for two years in a row has “been a good position for [her]” because she’s gotten to bond with the team more and has learned how to be a role model, she said. “I’m really honored to have this position too,” said Warren. Victoria Dugan ’20, Warren’s co-captain of two years, said, “[Warren’s] one of those teammates [who] makes you want to play better. She uses her personality on and off the court to be someone that people look up to. I’m glad I can call her my co-captain.” Despite Warren’s status as a committed athlete, she continues her efforts to practice and improve her game and never lets hard work get in the way of her success.