If you wanted to find a decorated player on the Lady Hornets volleyball team, look no further than team captain, Alex Winfield.
The sophomore was selected to the All-State and All-Orange Empire Conference first teams in 2014 and by all measures, is well on her way to another all-conference selection this season.
Although, if you wanted to learn more about her accolades and accomplishments, Winfield would probably be the last person to tell you. Boasting just isn’t in her nature.
“She is a little bit shy,” said Jason Dillard, Lady Hornets associate head coach. “She’s very humble, but that’s just her personality.”
The accolades she has received could imply that Winfield has been playing volleyball her whole life, but she’s relatively new to the sport.
According to her mom, Connie, Winfield didn’t start playing volleyball until her freshman year at Lakewood High School. Softball was her sport of choice prior to high school, where she excelled at shortstop and competed from the ages of 7-14.
When she arrived at Lakewood, Winfield’s 5-foot-10-inch frame instantly caught the eye of Lakewood volleyball coach Mike Wadley, making volleyball a no-brainer.
“Right when I got to high school, the coach saw me and encouraged me to try out because of my height,” Winfield said.
While her height was a plus, it wasn’t the only reason Winfield had excelled. She can thank her parents for the athleticism. Her father, Rick, was a baseball player and pitcher, while her mother played softball and volleyball as well.
Alex’s mother said that once she “got a taste of volleyball,” she was a natural.
When Winfield is on the court, she brings a calming influence to her team and plays with a positivity that rubs off on her teammates.
“She makes it easy to forget the last play and move onto the next,” said Grace Lopez, fellow Lady Hornet and Winfield’s best friend. The two of them began playing together under their current FC coach, Dillard, at the Golden West Volleyball Club when they were 17 years old and have complemented each other well ever since.
“I’m a bit more talkative on the court, whereas she’s more laid back and a lead by example type,” Lopez said.
Dillard confirmed Lopez’s sentiments.
“She’s definitely a leader by example on the court,” Dillard said. “She’s asked to do a lot, whether it’s setting, hitting or blocking, it’s fun to watch on the volleyball court.”
Winfield’s on court persona seems to already be a match with her future career choice as a nurse. Being a team player with a calming, positive influence are traits that should bode well for her down the road.
Transferring to a four-year college is the main goal of Winfield’s, and although the volleyball coaches are sure to come calling, her choice of schools is dependent on the nursing programs that they would be able to offer.
“I really want to go to a four-year and play, and I want to play as long as I can,” Winfield said. “But if I can’t, then I’d really like to pursue the nursing career path and a good program would do that for me.”
If any coach can offer Winfield what she’s looking for in a four-year, they would be getting a supremely gifted athlete in return. She’s an athlete that played beach volleyball for the first time last spring and still managed to make the All-OEC second team.
The sky is the limit for Winfield, just don’t ask her about it. She’ll likely smile and modestly deflect any praise.