Pinecrest Academy senior, Haley Ojeda, was added to a small and elite group of nationally recognized volleyball players when she was named an All-American at the 2010 AAU National Volleyball Championships in June.
Ojeda, outside hitter and co-captain of the 2010 Lady Paladin Varsity Volleyball team at the private Catholic school in Cumming, has played club volleyball since 7th grade and has been part of the A5 Club since 2008. Other accomplishments include being named GISA All-State Player (two years) and GISA All-Region Player (three years).
“Being named All-American was such an incredible experience, and it was an honor receiving this title,” comments Ojeda. “As I stood on stage beside other players from around the country receiving this same award, I felt so special and blessed.”
Ojeda’s A5 team won Silver for the Club Division at the 2010 AAU National Volleyball Championship. According to her A5 coach, Gary Jensen, “Haley was a consistent player all season. She surprises many teams with her ability to hit any shot from hard line, sharp angle to roll down the middle of the court. I think most teams saw her as an undersized outside hitter, but she proved them wrong all season long.”
Jenson describes Ojeda as a very level headed player that doesn’t back down in big situations. “Haley is very gracious in both victory and defeat, which is a coach’s dream. Her performance in the semi-finals match against Milwaukee Sting at the AAU’s is the reason why the team made it to the finals against 1st Alliance Black. The Milwaukee Sting team did not know what hit them and they could not stop her,” he continues. In that match, Ojeda hit a .588 with 17 attempts, 11 kills and only 1 error. She totaled 71 kills at AAU’s.
At Pinecrest, Ojeda helped lead the Lady Paladins to a GISA state victory in 2009. According to Coach Amy Camacho, “When Haley is on, she’s unstoppable! In this year’s pre-season GHSA tournaments against many 5A schools, the question I get most from coaches is, ‘Who in the world is #12?!’”
After her first season of Pinecrest volleyball in 7th grade, Ojeda realized volleyball was the sport for her, and she decided to play club ball as well to increase her skills and take her game to another level. Coupled with her play at Pinecrest for six years, club participation has allowed Ojeda to train with some of the best players and coaches in the country.
Ojeda plans to attend college in the south, likely majoring in physical or occupational therapy, and volleyball will continue to be a part of her college life. “I will definitely continue to play volleyball, just because I love the sport. Coaching volleyball would also be a possibility in the future,” says Ojeda.
Her volleyball experience has proven beneficial beyond the court. “Playing volleyball has enabled me to adapt to new people, new coaches and new situations, which is useful for other life situations,” says Ojeda. “The sport has also allowed me to develop as a woman of character, enabling me to face new challenges each day. And it’s shown me the fruits of what dedication can bring when you really apply yourself.”