The Student Voice of Prosper High School

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The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

Senior volleyball athlete plays for national team

Ayden Ames takes career to new heights
Kaya Miller
As her name is announced, senior Ayden Ames walks across the field at Meet the Eagles. She is committed to play volleyball at the University of Nebraska. “I’m excited to play with this year’s team,” Ames said. “Hopefully we go far in the playoffs because we have a really good group of girls this year.”

From Texas to Croatia and Hungary, senior Ayden Ames traveled the world playing for the USA Volleyball U19 National Training Team.

“The experience was literally like nothing that I’ve ever thought of and nothing that I’ve ever dreamed of before,” Ames said. “Learning new cultures was so fun. I just loved soaking up all the new information.”

Alongside her teammates, Ames, No. 4,  went on to win a world title with the U19 team. With Ames playing middle blocker, the USA U19 team claimed a world championship title after an unforgettable comeback in their championship match against Türkiye.

“Volleyball is different overseas because it’s a lot faster and you play the best in the world,” Ames said. “Since you’re learning new information, you have to learn how to apply it to your game faster, so you have to be very coachable and learn new stuff pretty fast.”

Arm extended, Ayden Ames serves the ball at the varsity team’s first game of the season versus Decatur. “My biggest inspiration is my mom,” Ames said. “She is my best friend and I look up to her everyday.” The Lady Eagles won the game 3-0. (Riley McConnell)

New head coach Ashlee McCormick leads Prosper Volleyball this year.

“Ayden is definitely a leader on the court, and she encourages everyone,” McCormick said. “She does what we ask her to do, and it has been awesome coaching her so far.”

Ames committed to the University of Nebraska to play volleyball, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers volleyball program boasts five national championship wins as they are currently ranked No. 4 in the NCAA.

“The recruitment process was very long and draining, but so exciting,” Ames said. “It’s a very difficult decision at the end of the day because you’re making a big decision for your future, but Nebraska was kind of always my top choice. So, it was a pretty easy decision.”

More than 92,000 people watched Nebraska sweep Omaha at Memorial Stadium this Wednesday, Aug. 30, breaking the record for the largest crowd at any NCAA volleyball match — as well as the record for the largest recorded crowd at any women’s sporting event in the world.

“I ended up choosing Nebraska because I love the coaches, and I love the environment. And, the volleyball is just so high level,” Ames said. “I just love the fan base because everybody gives their heart and soul for the school.”

Senior teammate Taylor Gardner is committed to play beach volleyball at Houston Christian University, after playing with Ames for the last three years at Prosper High School.

“Her versatility as a player is awesome,” McCormick said. “The way she is able to play at really any position is helpful if we need a big block or anything depending on what is on the other side of the court.”

— Ashlee McCormick

“The idea of being able to make new friends, travel, and get my college degree all at the same time is a great opportunity,” Gardner said. “I am also really excited about working with my new coach and seeing how I can improve my game to another level.” 

Ames’ goals for the future include becoming AVCA National Player of the Year, first team All American and winning a national championship, but the journey may mean facing adversity.

“The biggest challenge I’ve faced was making the national team because I was invited last year and I didn’t make the travel roster,” Ames said. “I kind of worked towards making the travel roster this year, and, over the past year, it was just a grind, and I’m just so glad that I overcame it.”

Ames said a top priority of hers is having a coach and teammates who know how to adapt to the team to develop to their full potential.

“I’ve loved the way volleyball has connected me to the school and the friendships I have made through the years,” Gardner said. “Ayden is a great player and a fun person.”

Over the six years Ames has played volleyball, one main lesson has stuck with her throughout her career.

“The big thing I’ve learned has been confidence and volleyball has taught me to not be scared to do something,” Ames said. “You don’t have time to kind of think about it and be scared, and you can’t take time for granted. So, I would just say really take advantage of that.”

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About the Contributors
Isabel Multer, Sports Editor
Isabel Multer is a junior at Prosper High School and is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is Isabel's second year on Eagle Nation Online, she is part of Eagle Nation News, and she is also on the Prosper lacrosse team. Outside of school, she loves hanging out with friends and family. She hopes to be able to share her writing through ENO.   2023 Best in Texas News & Broadcast Honorable Mention Sports Feature Story Honorable Mention Sports Column
Riley McConnell, Chief Operating Officer
Riley McConnell is a senior at Prosper High School and is the Chief Operating Officer for Eagle Nation Online. This is her third year on staff and is involved in the Football Operations Department, an organization she is a founding member of. She is also the head photographer for the school's baseball team, alongside pursuing her personal photography career.
Kaya Miller, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Kaya Miller, originally from Los Angeles, California, moved to Prosper, Texas in 2017. She attends Prosper High School as a senior. This is her third year on staff, and she is co-editor-in-chief of Eagle Nation Online and editor-in-chief of the print newspaper Eagle Nation Times. Miller is on the Prosper debate team as historian. She is also president of the Spanish Honor Society. Miller is also on the Dallas Rowing Club Juniors team. In her free time, she enjoys baking and playing guitar.
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