Jordan Ray knows what it takes to win.
The Donoho senior has been a part of the program for the last three years, which has included two Class 1A state championships and a runner-up trophy.
Her entire career has been at rightside hitter, but, with a spot open at setter this year, the senior has accepted the challenge of moving positions. Ray said she’s currently more nervous than excited.
Donoho’s season starts this weekend in the Mayor’s Cup tournament in Montgomery.
Away from the court, Ray stays busy with a wide array of activities. She enjoys skeet shooting, water sports and, recently, volunteering at the local animal shelter. She has two dogs, Sadie and Zeus.
Although Ray has only played volleyball at Donoho, she showed a large amount of eagerness for the new mountain biking team, which will start in the spring.
“I’m pretty excited about that. It’s different,” she said. “No school around here has a mountain biking team, so it’ll be really cool to be a part of that. I’m excited to see how it turns out.”
Recently, Ray took a few minutes away from the beginning of practice to sit down with Anniston Star sports writer Brandon Miller to spike 10 questions.
Question: How did you get into volleyball?
Answer: I just picked it up one day. I tried out for the team my eighth-grade year and just enjoyed it.
Q: What’s the best thing about Donoho?
A: We’re all a tight-knit family. I know my teachers really well, which I feel like is an advantage. At public schools, you may not know your teachers as well on a personal level. At a small school it’s great because you know everybody.
Q: What’s something not many people know about you?
A: I love animals. I want to go to vet school, become a vet and open my own practice one day.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about volleyball?
A: Winning. I love to win. You practice and work so hard and it’s just a great feeling to know that you were better than the team you played. You work so hard that it’s just a relief.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: I’m looking at going to Mississippi State right now or Auburn, obviously for vet school. I can’t decide. They’re both smaller, and I like the feeling of knowing everything as opposed to a bigger school.
Q: What’s it like to win a state championship?
A: It’s very exciting. I’m very honored to have been a part of the team. It’s just a great experience and I’m glad I got to be a part of it.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about fall?
A: Football. I love football. My brothers play football here, so I enjoy supporting the team. I also enjoy going to college games and everything about the game.
Q: Who’s been your biggest inspiration in life?
A: I think coach (Janice) Slay. She’s really, really pushed me into the person I am today. A few years ago if she would have told me I was going to be setting, I would have said there’s no way it was going to happen. I was an outside (hitter), but there was no problem changing positions or doing whatever she tells me. I love her to death; she’s my favorite.
Q: What’s your favorite sport to watch?
A: Gymnastics. Gymnasts are just the greatest athletes. They are so well-rounded and they can do incredible things. I love watching them do incredible tumbles and everything. It’s awesome.
Q: What’s your favorite subject in school?
A: Art class. I am not artistic in the least, and Ms. (Sarah) Landrum is just incredible. She’s so encouraging and, even if your painting looks terrible, she’s going to tell you it looks great. It makes you feel so good about yourself.
Sports Writer Brandon Miller: 256-235-3575. On Twitter @bmiller_star.