Student-Athlete Spotlight: Sarah Hayes Farley

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Samford Athletics is continuing the Student-Athlete Spotlight series, presented by Coca-Cola, which, this week, will highlight Sarah Hayes Farley, a junior outside hitter on the volleyball team.
 
Farley came to Samford from Kennesaw, Ga., and the Mt. Paran Christian School. She talked a little about what brought her to Samford.
 
“I just knew that I wanted to play sports,” Farley said. “I wanted to go to college and play. Samford wasn’t too far away, I wanted to be close to home. My parents played at Mercer, basketball and volleyball, so I always had the SoCon in the back of my head. I loved the team, and I loved the coaches, so it just seemed like a perfect fit.”
 
Farley is enrolled in the nursing program at Samford. She talked about what she specifically wants to do with her degree.
 
“Long term, I would love to eventually get my nurse practitioner degree and work anything with babies,” Farley said.
 
Farley has been primarily used as an outside hitter until this season but has moved to opposite some this season. She said she is enjoying the challenge of a new role.
 
“I’m just a player that’s willing to play anything,” Farley said. “Anything that the coaches need me to play, I’m going to be there and I’m going to give it my best. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to fill that opposite spot. I’m enjoying it, it’s a good fit. It’s a challenge because I haven’t done it since sophomore year of high school. So, it’s been fun to learn the role again and get used to it.”
 
The Bulldogs open Southern Conference play this weekend. The team has played an incredibly tough non-conference schedule. Farley said she is glad they played such a tough slate because it will better prepare them for SoCon play.
 
“We’ve been talking a lot, especially this week, we’re 0-0 again,” Farley said. “But then looking back on our non-conference play, we could very easily be 10-1, depending on who we play. The way you look at it, would you rather play teams closer to our skill level and be 10-1 and maybe not get as much opportunity as we did, or be 1-10 and play five or six teams that are in the top 50 and really gain from that knowledge. We’re excited about this weekend to finally be like, this is how much we really have learned, and this is how much we’ve grown from this preseason.”
 
Farley said she enjoys playing the Power 5 programs, getting to see how they stack up against the bigger teams.
 
“It’s fun to show what we’re made of,” Farley said. “We eventually want to get there and play with them at an even level, so to be able to have those opportunities and perform the way we have been, taking sets off of those big teams are a huge step for us.”
 
Farley talked about the morale of the team heading into conference play.
 
“Obviously, it’s not fun losing, but you have to put it in perspective of maybe it’s not about winning and losing so much anymore, it’s about how much we have gained and how many steps we have been taking,” Farley said. “So, we been on a huge incline since the beginning of the season, even if our record doesn’t necessarily show that. Yes, it’s no fun to lose, but you also have to keep in mind how much you’ve gained from the circumstances.”
 
The players on the Samford volleyball team refer to themselves as “The Sisterhood.” Farley talked about the closeness the players on the squad share.
 
“We’re a very close-knit team,” Farley said. “Every single one of us has great chemistry on and off the court. And really our friend group outside of volleyball is each other. So, when we go to class and stuff like that, we are always together. If someone is struggling, we are all struggling together. If someone’s excited, we’re all in it together, and that’s what The Sisterhood is all about. We’re not just a volleyball team, we really are family. It’s cool to see people graduate from that and still be a part of it and then be able to bring new people in as well.”
 
Farley talked a little about her favorite memories of her time at Samford so far.
 
“Probably one of my favorite memories is beating Arizona my freshman year,” Farley said. “That was fun, a top 25 team. But then also, in general, travelling with the team you get two or three days of undivided time to The Sisterhood, so it’s just fun getting to just be present with each other for those couple of days.”
 
Farley and the Bulldogs will open Southern Conference play with a pair of home matches this weekend, hosting Wofford Friday at 7 p.m. and The Citadel Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Pete Hanna Center.
 
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