Haverford High’s Cara Fredericks is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week

The senior libero and co-captain has been the Fords’ defensive MVP the past three years, and got her 1,000th career dig Oct. 28 against Springfield. She was named to the All-Main Line girls’ volleyball second team as a junior, and has received All-Central League honors each of the past three years. She will play volleyball for Misericordia University next fall. Off the court, she is a devoted runner and competes in as many 5K races as she can. At Haverford High, she is a member of the National Business Honors Society.


Q: What do you think is the strongest part of your game? What part of your game are you currently working on the most?


A: Lately, my mental preparation has been very strong. I have gotten much better at studying opponents, predicting the game, and staying focused during tough matches. I will always be working on my serve receive as it is the most important part of the game and it is my job to perfect that skill.


Q: As a senior co-captain, how do you view your leadership role on the team, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and related safety protocols?


A: We are very lucky to have a season this fall considering the current circumstances. As a co-captain, my priority is to encourage everyone to follow the protocols to ensure we can finish our season. This includes sanitizing before and after practice, wearing masks, and social distancing. Aside from the safety aspect, it’s important that we, as teammates, keep our family-like atmosphere. I have an amazing co-captain, Tess Smiley, who brings a great energy to the team and helps to keep us excited at games and practices. Haverford volleyball is a great program – we have an awesome group of girls that love the sport and respect each other.


Cara Fredericks celebrating her 1,000th career dig.

Q: Tell us a little about your milestone 1,000 career dig with Haverford – how the play developed, etc. What was your first reaction upon reaching this milestone, and what does this milestone mean to you?


A: I still can’t believe I reached this milestone! Coach [Eric] Dahl mentioned that I could reach 1,000 digs this year but, considering the short season, I really wasn’t expecting to reach that number. I feel so grateful to have been a four year starter on this team. I couldn’t have reached this milestone without my amazing teammates and wonderful coaches. 


Q: Tell us a little about your volleyball training since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. What have you found to be the biggest challenge to your training during the pandemic, and how did you handle that?


A: I normally play volleyball year round and I found it very difficult to go five months without playing.  I did find other ways to stay active and work out at home.  At times, it was hard to stay motivated because no one knew when, or even if, we’d have a volleyball season. I tried to stay positive and focus my energy on finding the right college to play volleyball, which really kept me grounded and motivated during quarantine.


Q: Have you always played libero? What sparked your original interest in volleyball?


A: I have always been a libero/defensive specialist but I have longed to be an outside hitter.  If I could only grow a few more inches! I learned about volleyball really by accident. In fifth grade a friend invited me to go with her to try out for the Saint Dorothy volleyball team.  I went, reluctantly, and fell in love with the sport right away.  I’ve been passionate about playing ever since that first day. 


Q: Who have been your biggest volleyball mentors, and what was the most important thing you learned from each one?


A: My biggest mentors have always been my teammates and coaches. I’ve learned so much from the girls I’ve played with along the way.  I’ve not only learned how to play but I learned about sportsmanship and how to be a good teammate.  Every coach I’ve had throughout the years has taught me something different.  Everyone from CYO coaches to club coaches has taught me something that is valuable to the game and to life. I’m grateful to every one of them!


Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation on the day of a game.


A: Game Day is the best day! Before every game I make sure I eat a healthy meal and I stay positive and focused on a win.   I play music that will get me hyped and excited for the game.  I have a playlist full of songs that we all sing along to before each game.


Q: What is your favorite course at Haverford High? What do you think you’d like to major in at Misericordia? Is there a career path that particularly appeals to you?


A: I loved all of the math classes Haverford offered but I especially liked my AP calculus courses.  At Misericordia University I plan on majoring in math with a possible minor in statistics. I am currently interested in actuarial science or data analytics as a career but I know once I am in college and taking courses that could change.  I’m open to learn about careers that a love of math can offer.


Fun facts – Cara Fredericks

Favorite movie: Rock of Ages.

Favorite athlete: Morgan Hentz.

Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Welcome to the Jungle by Guns. and Roses, or Lose Yourself by Eminem.

Favorite team: University of Wisconsin volleyball.

Favorite place to visit: Ocean City, N.J.

Favorite pre-game meal: Hummus and veggies.


(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)

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