Liberal Studies Major Rachel Pardi Makes SMCC her New Home

Introduced to volleyball by two close friends at Deering High School, Pardi continues her volleyball career at SMCC by playing with the Seawolves. Pardi, a senior volleyball player for the team, plays middle hitter. She comes to the Seawolves from Portland, where she attended Deering High School and played volleyball for The SMCC Beacon.  We chatted over Instagram, where Pardi fielded a few of my questions quite well.

JO: What drew you to SMCC? 

RP: Initially, I was interested in SMCC because of my financial situation, especially during the height of the pandemic in 2020, but I also wanted to be close to home, and I love the location of the campus. Once I started at SMCC and found out they were going to be starting a volleyball program, I was especially happy with my choice. It was a good fit for me from the start, and I’m glad I made the best decision for me.

JO: When and how did you start playing volleyball? 

RP: I started playing volleyball my freshman year of high school at Deering, with two of my close friends who introduced me to the sport, and I’ve been playing ever since, whether it’s a club or school team.

JO: What’s your favorite moment in your volleyball career? 

RP: It’s hard to pick one moment, but I’d have to say one of my favorites was my senior night of high school. This is probably my favorite memory of volleyball because it was a really good game, we had lots of fans and support from the school, and it was one of my last chances to play with my close friends.

JO: What has been your favorite moment thus far this season? 

RP: For this ‘22 season, l really enjoyed our first 2 games against NHTI and CMCC. I think it was a great start to our season. I like to think of these games and see how far we’ve come as a team on and off the court. We’ve always been really supportive and encouraging of each other, and I think it all started with those first 2 games. I also love being able to practice with the team every day, as I wasn’t able to last year, and making new friendships and bonding as a team.

JO: As a senior, what’s one thing you want to tell the younger girls?

RP: I would tell the underclassmen to just enjoy playing volleyball and being a part of a team dynamic. For me, it feels like the season flew by, so it’s important to appreciate the time you have doing what you love and sharing that with people you love. Of course, you want to be focused and you want to win, but being part of a team is more than just playing the game, it’s about building connections and having fun, so enjoy it.

JO: What goes into practice for you? As you look at the numbers, you are far ahead in points for the season. 

RP: During practices, my Coach has me focusing a lot on my serving and hitting. Coach Garrett is probably my first coach to encourage me to change my serve and to attempt something new in order to improve my play. He’s also had me working on my hitting because, as a middle hitter, I haven’t always run plays that are most effective or consistent for my position. Now that he has me practicing my timing, spacing, and placement, I’ve been able to control my plays and get the best chance of scoring for our team.

JO. What does it mean to you to be All-Conference First Team?

RP. It was really an honor to be selected, and it was amazing to see everyone who was also selected. Just to see all the great players on other teams and to be given the same recognition put the season in perspective, and I’m very grateful to have been chosen for the award.

Rachel Pardi’s stats from the 2022 Volleyball season:

PointsPoints per setHitting PercentageAssistsDigsKillsBlocks

Categories: Sports

1 reply »

  1. I like how you organized this and the structure you set it up to be came out great. And I also think you have asked some great questions that people in the crowd would be wondering the same thing. I have learned more about the sport from this interview.


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