Emma Smith’s versatility on the front line helped the Lady Hubs win more varsity volleyball matches this season than any team in Rochelle Township High School history. Smith will be taking her talents to the collegiate level next season, continuing both her academics and athletics with the Kishwaukee College Lady Kougars.
“I’m starting my academics at Kishwaukee and taking my general education classes there so I can save some money and stay close to home,” Smith said. “The coach reached out to me and asked me if I was interested in playing, and since I’m already studying there, I thought I’d play as well. I love volleyball, and if I have a chance to keep going, I’m going to take it.”
Smith spent four years with the RTHS volleyball program and two years with the varsity team. The senior played multiple positions for the Lady Hubs including middle blocker, outside hitter and right side. Smith, an Interstate 8 Academic All-Conference honoree this season, recorded 64 kills and finished second on the team with 20 blocked shots
“I’m excited to keep going,” Smith said. “I’ve been playing club volleyball for many years, but having the opportunity to play at the next level is a goal that I’m excited to achieve… Playing at Rochelle has helped me become an all-around and more well-rounded player. I’ve played all three front-row positions and I’ve played in the back row.”
Smith was one of five seniors who guided the Lady Hubs to a school-record 21 victories this fall. Rochelle reached the IHSA 3A Regional Finals in each of Smith’s two varsity seasons under head coach Molly Sly. Smith, who currently plays for the No Limits Volleyball 18U team, will be the fourth RTHS player (Katie Roush, Ali VanVickle and Faith Roush) to suit up for the Kishwaukee College women’s volleyball program in the last six years.
“I’m hoping that I can bring a lot of energy and I’m hoping that we can have a lot of fun,” Smith said. “Volleyball is a fun sport and I want to enjoy it.”
“Emma’s going to do great at Kishwaukee College,” Sly said. “She can play the front row at a high level and she’s willing to put in the work to play the position her team needs her to play.”