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Hard work got Norfolk Academy volleyball's Roberts going to NYU

Alden Roberts is a tri-sport athlete who also plays basketball and lacrosse. But she doesn’t let that detract from her involvement in the classroom.

NORFOLK, Va. — Like many others, the COVID-19 pandemic was a major turning point in Alden Roberts' life. As someone who likes to occupy her time, it was difficult being stuck in the house during the lockdown.  

“After the lockdown, I was stuck at my house and didn’t really have anything to do, and my gym was still open during the summer, so I just started going there every day to fill the time pretty much,” said Roberts. “Then I just started working out every day just really committing myself to volleyball.”  

The time she dedicated in the gym would catapult her volleyball career. As a freshman, she started every game on the varsity team and was captain of the JV team in eighth grade.   

“I actually love being busy, I cannot function if I’m not busy,” said the 5”11 senior setter for the Norfolk Academy Bulldogs

Roberts is a tri-sport athlete who also plays basketball and lacrosse. But she doesn’t let that detract from her involvement in the classroom. She’s also the executive of the Happy Club who works with Operation Smile, a medical scholar, a global affairs fellow, and a member of the Special Olympics club. She also works as a volleyball referee at the field house.  

Born in Austin, then moving to Raleigh and now Norfolk, Alden has grown accustomed to change, and it’s part of the reason she’s chosen to play in college at NYU with plans to go pre-med.  

“I’ve always just liked medicine. My grandfather is a doctor, and I watched a lot of Grey's Anatomy when I was younger,” she joked. “Just the thought of helping people and like I said I like to be busy and that’s definitely a busy job with a lot of responsibility.”  

Earlier this season Roberts reached a major milestone in her career with her 1,000th assist.  

“I don’t really look at my stats very often, so I didn’t really know how close I was. It was just crazy to think that I’ve played volleyball for that many years and have that many sets,” she said. “It just shows how strong of a team we are because you can’t get assists with a good pass, a good dig or a good kill so it just shows how strong of a team we’ve been the past four years.”  

“To watch her have that set and not really know when it would come in a game- just the smile on her face when we stopped the game that’s something as a coach I’ll cherish forever,” said Bulldogs head coach Trish Hopkins.  

Roberts is no doubt extremely driven and motivated, but she credits the culture at Norfolk Academy for her success.  

“The teachers and all the students just come here every day excited and loving to come and learn and teach each other. Just everything I’ve learned and all the people I’m around I’d say are my biggest inspiration.”  

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