Kara Hix has a battered bedroom wall to prove her dedication to volleyball. The East Hall junior libero isn’t destructive; she’s just always working on perfecting her setting skills.
“I don’t think my parents mind much,” Hix said. “They just say it gets a little loud some times.”
The obsession with volleyball has paid off for Hix. As a three-year starter for the Lady Vikings, she has set herself apart as one of the state’s best at her position, and posted a single-season record in digs (793) this fall. For her efforts, Hix is The Times Volleyball Player of the Year.
Hix’s practice time away from the high school season isn’t confined to the four walls of her room. She’s set to play her first season with the North Georgia Heat travel club this season after playing previously in travel circuits with the Ohana Volleyball Club out of Monroe.
For her career, Hix has 1,186 digs and needs only 80 next season to crack the top 10 in state history.
East Hall coach Ted Deppe says that Hix is a tremendous asset to the program with her natural athletic ability and superb passing skills. Hix was one of the pieces of a strong nucleus that helped the Lady Vikings claim their first state playoff berth in school history in 2012. Along with fellow junior Tarryn Long, Hix is looking to take the Lady Vikings back to the postseason again in 2013.
“We had a phenomenal team this season and played with a lot of confidence,” Hix said. “We’re really looking forward to making another run at the playoffs next season.”
Not only does Hix has rare volleyball ability, but she’s also near the top of her junior class with a 4.1 GPA. Deppe says that Hix will have the opportunity to play in college after high school. Her three favorite schools currently are the University of Georgia, Brenau University and Coastal Carolina University for play past high school.
“She came in and played outside hitter for us right away and has improved every season,” Deppe said.
Getting Hix involved in volleyball was probably a matter of her environment. According to Deppe, Hix would be hanging around in the gym while in middle school as the younger sister of a player. Deppe remembers vividly approaching Hix one day to gauge her interest in eventually playing. She informed him at the time that she was a basketball player, Deppe said.
He stopped pressing at that point.
However, Hix was only unsure about volleyball simply because the game was confusing and she didn’t understand all the rules. So imagine the surprise for Deppe when he showed up for his usual end-of-the-year meeting at East Hall Middle for girls interesting in coming up to the program the following season. As a rising eighth grader, Hix was right there to listen to Deppe talk, and promptly earned a spot on the junior varsity squad as an eighth grader.
Deppe says that volleyball is a family event for the Hix family. Not only is Kara a star player, but both parents, Danny and Jan, attend all the matches.
Hix says her favorite aspect to volleyball is that it is a sport that can be played 12 months out of the year.
“What I love most about volleyball is that it doesn’t matter who you are, you can always play to the best of your ability,” Hix said.