By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– All the hard work and sacrifice of the season has paid off for South Salem’s Kyleigh Carpenter as the Saxon senior was named Central Valley Conference Player of the Year.
Having played the sport since she was 12, playing the last four with the Saxons program, has been a fun adventure for Carpenter as she points to Laila Leaks as her mentor. Pointing towards the work ethic Leaks taught her from the classroom, to the playing court, to being an overall good person that eventually has led her to a CVC Player of the Year award and an opportunity to play with Boise State next Fall.
“Definitely work ethic. Being a good person on and off the court. Always working hard, always having fun and proving how fun Volleyball can be,” starts Carpenter. “I’m excited, I definitely had to prove and work really hard and show what I can do. I’m really happy to get Player of the Year, I’m excited for it. It means a lot to me and I’m really excited.”
This year has been a growing year of sorts for the South Salem team following last season’s 6A Quarterfinals appearance with the younger players that have been brought up to fill the void by the graduates of the 2021 class.
But it’s served for the best as the squad kicks off the 2022 playoffs against Sunset on Wednesday.
“We definitely had a slow start and I think this is a great time to be peaking right now. We’re playing the best we’ve played all season. It’s important to always be loud, help out each other and learn new things from each other and just get better as a team. Know more about each other and learn how each other’s roles and trusting in each others roles
And though her High School career is in its twilight, Carpenter is enjoying every last moment of it before it ends whenever it does.
“I got mixed emotions. It’s bittersweet, I love having this team and I’m really sad for the season to end but it just proves that we don’t know when our last game is going to be, so we have to work hard every day. Show up every, single day and play each game like it’s our last and focus on every practice and everything we can do,” Carpenter said.
The game against the Apollos is scheduled for 6pm at South Salem High School.