After four years on the varsity team, Natalie Ballout will be playing volleyball for UC Santa Barbara in the fall.
Ballout discovered her passion for the sport in high school and is excited to pursue a path as a collegiate athlete. As captain of the 2017 varsity girls’ team at Burlingame, Ballout has become one of the most valuable players on the court.
However, she did not realize her full athletic potential until recently.
“It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year when my skills really started developing,” Ballout said. “I started playing club volleyball much later than most girls who were serious about the sport so when I started I wasn’t very good compared to everyone else. Over time, however, my skills grew exponentially and my coach noticed. With his help, I realized I had a good chance at getting recruited if I kept working hard.”
While Ballout emphasizes the athletic skills she developed on the team, she is also thankful for the valuable lessons she learned during her time as a player.
“[Volleyball is] very hard work and I was forced to learn time management,” she said. “In the end it was all worth it. Not only do I love the sport but I love the friends I have made along my journey. Being a teammate has taught me how to work well with others as well as how to be selfless.”