"You have to be willing to fail to improve."
- Al Scates -
I began playing volleyball at 10 years old when my mom enrolled me in a recreational team - we only played one tournament, but took first place! I wanted more, so I kept training, but didn’t compete again until I was 12 and joined the North Juniors 12s team. I played with that team for another two years before switching to Minnesota Volleyball Academy where I played on MVA's 16 Select team. During that season, I had the opportunity to compete at Nationals. I continued with MVA the following year and played on MVA 17 Select team. During my last JO season, I switch club and played on Hype's 18-1 team.
As a freshman year at North High School, I played on their B-squad as an outside hitter. My Sophomore year, I played JV as a setter and defensive specialist until I was pulled up to play on varsity - where I remained for the rest of my high school years. During my Senior year, our North High School volleyball team won our section final and advanced to state where we took third place.
Alongside my high school volleyball career, I also participated in Hmong volleyball tournaments. I played in small tournaments for leisure at first but I eventually found myself competing more seriously on Team Nico where we participated in our first Hmong Freedom Festival tournament in 2017. As the year progressed and my passion for volleyball increased, a new team was formed, Team Nova. We trained and competed in the Hmong Freedom Festival tournaments in 2018 and again in 2019.
My coaching career started when I was an assistant coach for Hype Fall League 2019. After the fall, I was given the opportunity to be an assistant coach for Hype 14-2 during the 2019-2020 JO season. As I continue playing volleyball, I am taking what I've learned as an athlete and assistant coach, and apply that knowledge going forward as an athlete and coach.