When Ana Orozco came to the United States from Colombia, she already had 3 solid years of volleyball training at her club team in Quindío. When she joined Dover High School as a freshman, she immediately made an impact posting 3 aces per match on average and getting a high share of kills and digs for a first year contributor. Year 2 as a sophomore was a breakout season for Ana as she lead the Tigers in kills with 134 and posted 163 digs and 50 aces. We expect Ana to continue to mature and improve with the best yet to come from this rising junior.
Ana has deep roots in her Colombian heritage. She has super strong family values and gives honor to her Colombian volleyball coaches as well as most of the credit for her development. She is humble, yet confident. She values her studies here in NJ at Dover and she pushes herself to achieve both academically and athletically. She also brings a positive, fun-loving spirit to her teammates. And don’t be surprised to see her leading the between point cheers or sharing her latest dance moves on the court. All great stuff for building team spirit and motivation.
Dover rode excellent play from Ana and six seniors en route to a 17-13 record and a state playoff birth. Drawing eventual Group 2 State Champ Demarest in the first round was just too tough an assignment for the Tigers. For this upcoming season, Ana will take center stage as a junior with support from seniors Emily Gomez (Libero), Alison Koo (Setter), and Brianna Nieto (Outside Hitter).
Ana’s versatility will be a major positive for Dover. Whether they have enough firepower to stay with Hackettstown in the NJAC Colonial Division will be a major question for the Fall. We wish them well.
Here is our interview with Ms. Orozco…
Tell us a bit about yourself Ana?
My name is Ana Orozco. I am from Quindío, Colombia. I moved to the United States about two years ago to seek a better future in my studies and volleyball.
I study at Dover High School and I will start my Junior year in the beginning of September. I will graduate in 2022.
How long have you played volleyball and what inspired you to take it initially?
Before I was eleven years of age, I played some sports including badminton and basketball. I was never very consistent with these sports because they did not inspire me completely. When I was eleven years old, I started to pay attention to volleyball because in the town where I am from, Circasia, volleyball started to be very popular. All the girls wanted to practice that sport and I didn’t want to be left behind. I started training and every day I fell more in love with volleyball. Little by little, I considered the people on my team as my second family. As in everything, there is always a not-so-good part of sports. There were days when I felt that I couldn’t take it anymore. But one of my coaches, Jorge Reinel Sánchez, whom I have so much admiration for, always encouraged me to keep going and become the best that I can be.
What are its metrics / details? Height, vertical, position, club equipment, etc. What is your favorite position to play?
I’m 5’9″. I have had the opportunity to play every position. I adapt easily in the position they me play me, but without a doubt, I love playing outside hitter!
How will your high school team fare next season? Do you have many returning players? What will be the key to success?
In my opinion, if we all work hard, we strive and live more as a team, I think we could go very far. I have high expectations for this year and next year. I want my team and I to give our best in all the matches.
Tell us about your teammates. Who do you expect to be the most prominent and promising players this year?
Without a doubt, all my teammates are excellent players and people. Since I joined the team, they gave me their support and have never left my side. I would love for each one of them to achieve what they expect this season, especially those who are graduating. I love them all very much and I want to see them succeed.
NJP considers him as one of the best players in the state. Do you plan to play in college? (If so, which ones are you looking at?)
I would love to be able to play volleyball in college. It is one of my top goals that I have had since I started playing volleyball. I want to achieve many things, among them is to make my family, coaches and the people around me feel proud.
Tell us about your high school coach? Club coach?
To my coaches from Colombia, Juan Carlos Martínez and Jorge Reinel Sánchez, who were with me for three years, I have so many things to be thankful. Juan Carlos was always the one who prepared the workouts for physical work, while Reinel always taught us technique and wisdom before making a move.
To my coach from Dover, I have so many things to thank her for, Kelsey Salmon has supported me since I arrived two years ago. She has never ceased to amaze me with everything she teaches me. I think I am the happiest when listening to her explain new tactics and strategies. I feel so much admiration for her. She is an excellent coach and person.
Who is your support group?
My support initially is my family, so all the people around me are my support, they all motivate me to continue striving to be better every day, people I don’t know have admired me and that fills my heart with happiness. I encourage never to stop.
Are you looking forward to a normal schedule for the fall high school season?
Yes, I look forward to seeing my teammates and coach. I hope that everything will return to normal very soon, I want my teammates and I to give our best on the court, and continue to improve every day.
What are your other hobbies?
I love to read and write. I feel a tranquility and an inner peace that I would not change for anything when writing or reading. I also love to dance and listen to music. Whenever I listen to a song, I am looking for a way to dance to it. That is one of the ways in which I am completely happy.
What do you do during the offseason to keep fit and prepare for next year? (Club team? Workouts? Watch VB videos? Go to college games?)
To keep fit, I go with my friends and some of my group members every Friday to play at PowerZone, Denville.
Who is your favorite professional or college volleyball player and why?
My favorite player is Natália Zilio. Since I was twelve years old, I started to watch videos of her and I feel great admiration because she is so smart every time she makes a move. She has a lot of power and accuracy. She is one of the most complete players I have ever seen play.
Is there a teacher or coach who really helped you along the way?
One of my coaches from Colombia, Jorge Reinel, has been an amazing support. Even though I have not seen him for two years, he continues to believe in me. Almost everything I know about volleyball I owe to him and to the effort he put toward me. I still consider him my coach, because he keeps giving me advice and helping me become a better player for the sport I love.