photo by Madison Bonnett

Juggling academics along with athletics is no easy feat, but senior Maya Clausen was able to excel at both, and then some.  Tiger volleyball is the pride and joy of DSHS, with Clausen right there front and center leading her team, or right side hitter when referring to her position, to state in the 2015 – 2016 season and then again to playoffs this past season.

“I started playing volleyball when I was 12 and super awkward and really, really awful,” Clausen said.  “In seventh grade, I’m pretty sure I only made a team because I was tall for a seventh grader, but I love the game so much, so I worked and got better year by year.”

Clausen has signed to and will be attending Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas this coming fall with a $30,000 academic scholarship and a prime spot on their volleyball team with plans to study psychology.   

Clausen is an all-around phenomenal student, being named to the Academic All-State Team, while also earning All-District honors as both a junior and senior.  On top of that, Clausen is this year’s National Hispanic Scholar, the historian of the National Honor Society, and was the co-president of the Spanish Honor Society last year.  But volleyball has been her life for the past six years.

“I love that it’s not just a physical game. It’s a mental game as well, but it’s also the epitome of a team sport,” Clausen said. “If everyone doesn’t do their job perfectly, things are not going to go well, but at the same time if someone messes up, the next touch has to bring everything back together. My favorite memory from my last four years was obviously winning state. Nothing can really beat that.”

However, it hasn’t always been that easy for Clausen and her team.  With all of the seniors leaving last year, there was a lot of weight and expectations put on the seniors this year, but their team had their backs the whole time.

“The memory that hit the hardest was in the locker room after our loss against Alamo Heights, knocking us out of playoffs,” Clausen said. “You could feel how badly every single girl wanted the ride to continue, and never have I ever felt closer to another group of people in my life. These girls are my family, and they will always be my family, no matter where we are.”

Written by Giselle Galletti, Staff Writer