Two Lady Raiders taking their talents to the next level, but their friendship lasts forever

Published: Sep. 24, 2023 at 7:39 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - There is a tremendous amount of talent on the volleyball court in the Amarillo area.

One of the most dominate programs around being the defending 4A state champions, the Randall Lady Raiders.

If you have ever seen the Lady Raiders play, then you have seen this dynamic duo- Sidney Soria and Jordyn Gove.

Soria, a junior, and Gove, a senior, are both vital parts of the volleyball program at Randall and now they get to take their talents to the next level.

Both players have verbally committed to play Division I volleyball.

“It was really just the community around it,” Gove said when asked why she chose Valparaiso University. “It gave me the same vibes as Randall where it’s like everyone is a family and they genuinely care about you.”

Soria is staying in the state of Texas as she plans to continue her athletic and academic career at the University of North Texas.

“The coaches and everything. I went to the school for a visit and it was just absolutely beautiful,” Soria said. “I am not just going there for athletics, I am going there for my school, so knowing that there is a lot of people that are going to help me through that process helped me take that push and take that leap for that school.”

Being able to have the opportunity to play at the Division I level is a tall task. Athletes train day in and day out to be able to play at the next level.

“I think a lot of people underestimate how hard it is in general, not just for Division I player, but in general to go play at the next level,” Gove said. “How much you have to do, how much you have to email. You have to play the game, and you have to send your stuff out. It’s working out everyday, staying consistent, and fueling your body. It’s more than you see just on the court.”

“I’ve always wanted to play Division I volleyball. It’s not just me, but my coaches, they pushed me to be better they knew what my expectations were, so without them I really could not be here right now,” Soria said. “It’s just the drive and winning, I’m a very competitive person. I think going to that higher level and playing for those great coaches, great girls, all of my work is going to be worth it.”

Without a doubt, there has to be a lot of chemistry between a setter and an outside hitter in volleyball. If you have seen them play together, then you know that is no problem for these two.

Soria being the dynamic setter and Gove the powerful outside hitter, you can see their friendship shine on and off the court.

“The chemistry that they have on and off the court is just a game changer for us, and it’s so important,” Randall volleyball head coach Haleigh Burns said. “They are such good, close friends. They are a lot alike and very different, and so I think they balance each other really well.”

“On the court, we both hold each other accountable everyday, which that’s what good teammates do. Some days we hate each other and some days we love each other, but it just makes us better,” Gove said. “Off the court, we are kind of goofballs. She’s kind of crazy, and I kind of reel her in, that’s kind of how it is. It’s just great to have a friend like that, that can play at a high level and still hold you accountable on the court everyday.”

“Off the court, me and Jordyn are best friends, it’s crazy how our bond has grown over the past two years,” Soria said. “On the court, we have some big personalities, and sometimes its like lets dial it back. I think I can read her mind, and she can read mine. The connection is just crazy.”

To be able to win a state championship, that takes a lot of hard work and dedication from everyone, players and coaches.

Soria and Gove both feel that the volleyball program at Randall has prepared them for their colligate careers and beyond. They express how fortunate the are to be part of the Randall community.

“There is just so many expectations here. Everybody here pushes each other, and Randall itself is a community and everybody supports each other. Everybody wants to win here, so we just really work hard to get to the top how we are right now,” Soria said. “Having this program and being in it has been a big part of my life, because all of these girls are my built in best friends, so it’s just great to have it in my life.”

This being Gove’s senior year, she reflects back on just how much this program has meant to her over the past four years.

“This program has given me who I am, and has helped me find my identity not just as a volleyball player but as a person too,” Gove said. “It really set my goals. My sophomore year is when I realized what I wanted to do and what goals I could reach as a player. This program has given me every opportunity to go do that. I am so thankful to play for Coach Burns, my mom, and this team that I have with me right now.”