Izzy Starck wasn’t sure if she was ready to lead Rampart Volleyball as a sophomore this year.
But everyone was.
Her teammates voted for her as captain. And her coaches were convinced she was the right person for the job. It took some tweaking, but by the end of the year Starck proved she could handle the responsibility.
“It was definitely a bit difficult at the start of the season,” she said. “It was a really cool and very fun experience, especially since it’s only my second year in the program.”
Starck’s skills on the court earned him the Peak Performer volleyball title. But it was her leadership as a second-year player that most impressed those around her.
“This year, she not only had to lead her team on the court, but also off the court,” Rampart volleyball coach Nikki Bloemen said. “I think she learned a lot about leadership this year.”
As a freshman, Starck was a big part of the state championship team at Rampart. She led the offense and was named team MVP at the end of the season.
As this year approached, Starck knew she should do more. They have graduated many influential players, including Starck’s older sister, Anjelina, the 2021 Colorado Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year who now plays for Penn State.
The Rams returned this year, but couldn’t defend their title. They finished the year 21-6, with Starck leading the team in almost every category. She played in every set and had 393 kills, more than double what anyone else on the team had.
“She’s an athlete that every coach wants to have,” Bloemen said. “She’s intense. She’s a player. She’s very competitive, she always wants to win.”
For Starck — who is ranked among the top players in her class nationally — there’s no slowing down after the high school season. She often hosts local tournaments in Denver with her club team. She travels to California at the end of the month, for a series of winter training in the United States with their development program, then returns twice to the West Coast in January. After that, she has an invite to Kansas City, two qualifiers, and junior nationals in June.
Last year, she had to balance that schedule with high school volleyball, as the sport was played in the spring. This year, although she will still have to miss some school, she said it would be easier not to have to balance that with the Rampart volleyball schedule.
For Starck, this is only the beginning. He still has two years to leave his mark at the secondary level. Next, she intends to follow in her family’s footsteps and play volleyball at the Division I level.
“She’s one of the best volleyball players I’ve ever coached,” Bloemen said. “She loves the sport. She has this desire to improve.”
Interpreters all areas:
Cheyenne Mountain Jr., Jessie Duytschaever
Cheyenne Mountain senior, Karlee Pinell
Discovery Canyon junior, Raina Rekar
Fontaine-Fort Carson Jr., Aiyana Mitchell
Fountain Valley senior Annaliese Fricke
Senior Liberty, Tierney Barlow
Palmer Ridge senior, Madison Wilson