Sports & Recreation



Samantha Hardy smiles with mom, Brenda Hardy, at senior night. Hardy will play for Chandler-Gilbert as a libero and outside hitter.

SRHS Softball Player Makes Chandler-Gilbert Coyotes Volleyball Roster

By Dustin Hughes
Au-Authm Action News

A libero is a defensive position in volleyball that has a great deal of responsibility. The libero will remain in the game for the entire time and is not limited by the rotation. Hardy’s main goal as the Coyotes’ libero will be to dig any ball coming her way and pass the ball to the setters. As an outside hitter, Hardy will be one of the offensive threats when the setter calls upon her.

Hardy was not offered a scholarship from CGCC; instead, after a phone call from her Salt River High School volleyball head coach, Kyronna Roanhorse, was encouraged to try out for a couple of teams.

“My coach called me and said CGCC and Yavapai College, in Prescott, were having tryouts. CGCC was having theirs first, so I trained and tried out for the team and made it. I wouldn’t have made the team without Lata Sitake; she helped me a lot and prepared me for the tryouts. I would like to thank her for everything she did for me,” said the soft-spoken 2013 Salt River High School graduate. In addition, Hardy would like to thank coach Shawn Lytle, coach Roanhorse, and her mom, dad and brothers for being a great support system.

Hardy has expressed interest in studying psychology and physical therapy, but the salutatorian will focus first on obtaining a general studies degree and transferring from there.

“I’m really going to focus on finishing my gen-eds and then transfer. I might try out at Grand Canyon [University] afterwards, but my goal is to remain focused and keep up with the new schedule and time management,” said Hardy when asked about what challenges she anticipates going in as a freshman.

The star athlete was also an outfielder for the SRHS softball team and was one of the starting guards for the SRHS girls basketball championship team. For only being here a year, Hardy has made a big impact in the Community on and off the court. Despite spending most of her life up north on the Navajo Reservation, the players at Salt River accepted her with open arms during summer ball.

“The transition from being at a small school like St. Michaels to here wasn’t that bad; the girls really welcomed me as one of their own, and that helped a lot,” said Hardy, smiling as she recalled her first moments at SRHS. “To all the girls still at SRHS, have a great season. I’m going to miss them a bunch.”

Hardy was one of two players from the SRHS girls basketball team who will be traveling to Australia this summer to compete in the Down Under Hoops Classic tournament. Hardy and her family are asking for donations to help pay for meals and travel expenses. To learn how to make a donation, call Hardy at (928) 245-9801 or email her at manthapanda@gmail.com.

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