AIR JORDAN: Panthers' Star Hitter Aims for Greater Heights
Sydney Jordan loves to talk hitting. The Ridge Point senior can't get enough nuances of an attack.
“It’s been something I’ve been fine-tuning for a while now,” Jordan said. “I remember watching games when I was younger with my mom, and the idea of these girls slamming the ball to the ground and everyone just going crazy ... it’s so fun and such a release of energy and emotion. It can really make or break a game.
“The game can come down to gutsy kills at the end, and I love that.”
The 6-foot-3 University of Colorado-commit is a skilled hitter because of the work and study she puts into her craft.
Last season, she helped lead the Panthers to the Class 6A State Semifinals, compiling 2.9 kills and 3.6 digs per set, with a 35.4 kill percentage, 33 aces and 55 blocks.
Jordan has always been a gifted hitter but continues to get better and better. Last season, she developed more shots, learning how to read the block better. She has the deep corner shot in her arsenal. She’s stronger at sharp crosses. She loves line shots.
Staying out of zone six, the back middle zone, is her M.O. Technique-wise, it’s feet to the ball and hitting hard and high shots.
“I really evolved into a six- rotation player that’s steady and solid in all aspects,” Jordan said. “More maturity, more awareness of the game and just an ability to perform at a higher level for the team.”
Jordan was practically born to be a stud athlete. Her mother, Lori, was an outside hitter for the University of North Carolina. Her father, Matt, was recently the General Manager of the Houston Dynamo and a longtime professional soccer player.
“They never forced anything on to me, so there was never really any pressure,” Jordan said of her parents. “They gave me morals and a work ethic.”
Jordan was born in Columbus, Ohio, and moved to the United States from Canada when she was nine years old and tried every “sport under the sun” as a kid.
“I was a figure skater when I lived in Canada. I was a soccer player and a swimmer. I started volleyball when I first moved to the United States, and it took off from there,” Jordan said. “I just always thought it was super fun. I’ve just always wanted to keep getting better at it and that just kept building.”
Jordan emerged as a team leader last season, but she’s excited to have even more of a voice this year as a senior. In the Panthers’ run to State, she learned team chemistry and leadership are absolute musts.
She’s eager to do her part.
“There’s aspects that come into play, like athletic ability and God-given gifts, but if you work hard, good things will happen,” Jordan said. “That’s something I focus on every day. If I put in the work, whether it’s school or relationships or volleyball, hopefully things will go well for me.”