The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

Sportlight: Sarah Shafiq

Senior girls volleyball star Sarah Shafiq is making headlines during her last season at New Trier.

As the starting top middle on the Trevians’ varsity team, Shafiq was recently named the 77th top recruit by college coaches and labeled a “senior ace” by

Such a decorated volleyball career could very well have never happened, however. Shafiq only began playing the sport in 8th grade, reluctantly signing up at the request of her parents.

“I started volleyball because my mom forced me into it,” said Shafiq. “I loved playing basketball, but I was really not into running.”

While it wasn’t her first choice initially, Shafiq fell in love with the sport. She has been hooked ever since her debut four years ago, and her 6’5” figure has helped make her a natural.

“Once I started playing volleyball I was hooked,” said Shafiq. “If I go a few days without playing, I am miserable. Not only do I love playing the sport, but I love having the team as my second family.”

Her New Trier family has changed significantly since last year. Former top middle Haley Fauntleroy graduated in 2014, going on to play at the University of Virginia, leaving a starting spot vacant for Sarah. Nine other seniors graduated from the team as well, leaving room for juniors to fill their spots.

“Last year’s team was made up of mostly seniors, yet this year’s team has a majority of newcomers to varsity,” said Shafiq. ”This year’s team has so much energy and drive to get better every day.”

For a player as key to conference championship hopes as Shafiq, being adored and respected by teammates is essential. According to Shafiq’s teammates, this isn’t a problem.

“[Sarah is] an amazing person and totally deserving of all the attention she’s getting,” said fellow team captain Courtney Lewis. “Not only is she a great player, but she’s been a great friend to me since freshman year when we started playing together.”
According to Lewis, Shafiq works well with her teammates and is a role model for the younger players.

“My favorite part about the school season is representing New Trier,” said Shafiq. “We get to play every game with ‘New Trier’ written on our jerseys, and there really is no better feeling than that.”

This year’s team is progressing through every game. Shafiq has high hopes for her current teammates after last year’s third place finish in IHSA state competition.

“I believe that every day and every game we improve individually. As a team our main focus for this season is to maintain consistency with our level of play,” said Shafiq.

The Trevians have faced some stiff competition so far this season, and according to Shafiq, such competition is beneficial for the team. Her favorite moment of the season to this point was getting a chance to play in the Mother McCauley tournament, hosted by last year’s state champion Mother McCauley Mighty Macs.

Shafiq has huge plans for next year. She will be attending and playing at the University of California, Berkeley. She is excited to have the opportunity to play in the Pac-12 conference.