Athlete of Week: Practice paying for NMB’s Bellamy

North Myrtle Beach High junior volleyball player Sydney Bellamy is a good example of hard work paying off. Turning to the sport as a novice just four years ago, Bellamy has worked her way up the ladder to become a solid contributor on the court for the Chiefs.

“When I started volleyball in the seventh grade, I wasn’t very good. I tried out for JV and I wasn’t sure I was even going to make the team,” said Bellamy, who was voted the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week for her recent play as an outside hitter. “I made it but I didn’t get much playing time at first, then I worked my way up to second and third set.”

Hungry to get better, Bellamy joined the Grand Strand Juniors program and played the sport year-round. Not only did the instruction improve her game, but it also opened the door for her big break at the next level.

“The (GSJ) coaching staff helped me out so much, and the (NMB) varsity coach watched one of our practices,” she recalled. “That summer she texted me and asked me if I wanted to practice with varsity as an eighth grader. I was surprised but she said if you work hard you definitely have potential. That did a lot for my confidence. I ended up getting to play some that year, but having that experience helped me in the ninth grade and now.”

Following a sophomore slump of sorts that saw her dealing with injuries and illnesses, Bellamy is taking flight in her junior campaign. She recorded a career-high 16 kills in a match earlier this season and is averaging nine per game. She is also a team player, spreading credit to her coaches and teammates at every turn.

“Sydney is doing a great job for us this year and is a real leader on the court,” said Chiefs coach Alex Sing, who also runs the GSJ program. “She is getting better with each match. … a A great kid and a joy to coach.”

Bellamy hopes to help elevate the Chiefs’ game for a run at a region title – and maybe more.

“We definitely have a lots of strengths, but mostly I’d say it’s our chemistry,” Bellamy said. “With players like Maddie Roy (the team’s lone senior, and a long list of younger players), we have good leaders and we really flow together. We have a young team, but I think we have a good chance to come out on top this year.”

Photo by Joel Beachum

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