Standing as the shortest player on the Texas State volleyball team, sophomore defensive specialist/libero Sierra Smith finds her place on the court and outside on the hunting fields.
Smith is one of two players that is 5 feet 2 inches tall on the team and has been playing volleyball since seventh grade. Smith attended Granbury High School where she played under Coach Tammy Clark and was a three-year letter winner. Smith was named district defensive MVP and earned a spot on the all-district team. She holds the school record for career digs and for the most digs in a season.
“I’m here to tell you that Sierra (Smith) may be small, but her heart is about as big as they get,” Clark said. “(Smith’s) desire and her competitiveness made her essential on our floor. (Smith) was an amazing athlete, and size didn’t matter to her.”
Smith played different positions in high school, and she worked hard in every one. Clark praised Smith on being hardworking and committed to succeeding in volleyball although she was smaller than most players.
Smith played club volleyball for the Texas Advantage team. She played alongside current Texas State junior setter Caylin Mahoney.
Smith is already a starter in her sophomore year and is an energizing player for the Bobcats. She played in every game her freshman year and collected 200 digs and 33 assists. She led the team with nine digs against SMU and recorded a career high 12 digs against Texas-Arlington.
Smith is one of the shortest players on the team, but she makes many Bobcat fans proud. She constantly has fans approach her after the games and praise her for exceeding expectations and proving any doubters wrong. The Granbury-native has proved game after game that she can be just as valuable to the team as the taller players.
“(Smith) is feisty, a competitor, and she doesn’t like to lose,” said Coach Karen Chisum. “She gets back in there and fights—I like Sierra out on the floor. She’s an Energizer Bunny.”
Aside from the volleyball courts, fans can find the sophomore defensive specialist on the hunting grounds. Smith and her family get together for a reunion every year to hunt doves in late September and go on another trip over winter break.
“I love to hunt,” Smith said. “My favorite thing to do is definitely bow hunting. It’s a challenge, and it kind of relates to the volleyball court.”
Whether it is on the volleyball courts or the hunting grounds, Smith strives to be the best she can be, regardless of her size. She has learned to be active and to have precision and patience when going for a dig or a kill.