By Hector Gomez ‘22
The volleyball career of Bella Realmuto started out in her time as a fifth grader. She was first introduced to the sport with her friend, when the friend wanted to play, and so Bella agreed to do it with her. The friend didn’t enjoy it as much, but Bella decided to keep going with it. “And it turned out she didn’t like it as much but I stuck with it.” Her utter and complete love for the game stays with her through thick and thin, on and off the court, and through the easy and the hard times. Her determination drives that love and dedication for volleyball. And even though she doesn’t want to do it professionally she simply loves the game as an alternate activity.
“I have other aspirations other than volleyball, I dunno it’s just a good activity for me to be a part of a team. And just have that kind of community and have that exercise not just sitting in my room.”
Even though her teammates go to different schools she still feels very connected to the people that team is comprised of. “They all go to different schools, Arapaho’s, Creek, Valor, all over the place.” Bella stated that although it’s very chaotic, her favorite position to play is middle. The reason for that is that she likes to spike the volleyball a lot.
She doesn’t have very much superstitions, she said, except for when she goes up to serve she bounces the ball twice and spits on her hand. Also throughout her league season she had a silver ring on her shin. League teams will go against other state finalists in the same league.
Although she prefers to stay in the middle, Bella does enjoy serving the ball when it comes time to rotate into that position because it makes her feel much more in control. “I like being able to control the first play of the game. You can control how fast you hit it, where you hit it, it’s just a lot more control.” Women were first allowed to play volleyball in 1895, which is a decision she supports fully.
Her worst moment she said was when she tore her ligaments in her right ankle which disabled her for the last half of the season on the sidelines on crutches. That was due to her having tarsal coalition, and because of it occasionally after practices and games her ankle will hurt. Although Bella has had it since she was born she first found out about it in the fourth grade, and she had to wear a boot throughout that year. A tarsal coalition is an abnormal connection that develops between two bones in the back of the foot (the tarsal bones). This abnormal connection, which can be composed of bone, cartilage or fibrous tissue, may lead to limited motion and pain in one or both feet.
“Yeah, that was kinda with it a limitation with and occasionally it’ll hurt after practices and stuff.”
She doesn’t feel like it will affect her in the long run because she has gone through the therapy she needs to strengthen her ankles. And on top of that, she wears an ankle brace. According to her own judgement she said she is a pretty good player, and on average she said she gets three or four points a game.
The way Bella humbled herself just makes it more obvious that she is a truly good player. “I guess it just started as… because I needed an activity, and I tried many musical instruments and it never really worked so I just really liked volleyball.”
Regrading guilty pleasures this is what she had to say… “if there’s a girl who’s been hitting all your passes and blocking all your kills, like its keep aiming for her hard spots.” Even though she does have that taste of guilty pleasures, Bella doesn’t hold grudges, being the friendly girl she is.