July 15, 2020 – By NJP
Teleyah Witherspoon has tremendous potential for the 2020 season ahead. Her junior year was just dominant on the attack with over 200 kills for the Comets in 2019. Tee is a superior athlete with solid jumping ability, a smooth swing, and a powerful delivery that wreaks havoc for opponents. In more than half of her contests, she put up double digit kills.
“Spoon” powered Hackensack to a winning record and was a clear MVP, not only based on stats, but also with her focus, intensity and leadership. At almost 6 foot tall, Teleyah is an intimidating figure at the net, and she plays even bigger than her height with outstanding lateral and vertical movement.
The Comets are projected to be in the middle of the pack in the Big North Freedom with powers Northern Highlands and Old Tappan in the division. They lose three senior starters to graduation including their setter so it may present a challenge with the short season to get their rhythm quickly.
With that said, they have the potential to make their presence known in the county tournament as well as the revised state tournament convening at the local level. With Tee leading the way!
Here is our interview with Ms. Witherspoon…
Hi Tee… Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Teleyah Witherspoon. Most of my teammates call me either tee or spoon for short. I’m the third and last child in my family whom I appreciate and love so much for always supporting me! I am in the class of 2021 and will be graduating from Hackensack High School. I am a 2 year varsity starter and cannot wait to be back in the gym!
How long have you played volleyball and what inspired you to take up volleyball initially?
I am entering my fourth year of playing volleyball. I had no interest in it at first, but my high school coach was trying to get me to play for him since I was in middle school (because of how tall I am). He finally convinced me to play and now I love it and can’t imagine doing any other sport.
What are your metrics/details? Height, vertical, position, club team, etc. What’s your favorite position to play?
I am a 5’11, 6 rotation, Outside Hitter for my High School team, and I play Middle Blocker for my club team DIGS. I personally don’t mind playing any position on the court, I just love the game of volleyball and being on the court at all times. But if I had to choose a favorite, I’d choose outside.
How will your high school team do in the upcoming season? Do you have a lot of returning players? What will be the key to success?
This year will be different for my team to get into a groove because we will be getting a new setter, but most of the returning varsity players entering their senior year (including myself) will be on the court and comfortable because our incoming seniors are returning varsity players. With that said I have high hopes for this next season and can’t wait for Hackensack’s volleyball team to do big things for the season.
Tell us about your high school teammates at Hackensack. Who do you expect will be this years standout and up and coming players?
I love my girls at Hackensack. I met some of my best friends playing and sweating with them in the gym and wouldn’t trade them. We have great chemistry and all get along well. I think that Cassy Clemente (our incoming Libero) will be phenomenal defensively for our team, and Jada Everett (returning outside) will be a very important part of our team this year and I know that she will do big things.
Which player last season was the toughest competitor that you faced and why?
I think that Emily Hosford from Northern Highlands was definitely one of the best competitors in my league. She was a great middle with great blocking skills and could hit a ball to the ground when her team needed it. She was very difficult to defend when I was in the back row. She’s also one of my teammates on DIGS and is such a sweet girl.
Tell us about your club experience at Digs?
I started Digs last year and I had a great experience. It is now a team that I can call home. Bill Lee, Heather Stout and all of the coaching staff put so much time into everything and truly care about us players. They have helped me grow and transformed me into the player I am today. Going to Digs will give you so much knowledge about volleyball and I always enjoy the time I share with my teammates.
Who is your support group?
My support group is definitely my mom. She comes to every tournament and drives me to practice no matter what. Without her believing in me the way that she does, I wouldn’t be the player I am today. She dedicated so much time, effort, gas, and put so much love into me as a player and couldn’t thank her more.
Tell us about your high school coach? Club Coach?
My High School Coach Harris Brkovic is one of the most amazing coaches I’ve ever had. He is so helpful and treats his players as if they are his own daughters. I’ve learned so much about volleyball and life as well from him and am so grateful for all that he’s done for me.
Have you won any awards such as All County or All State or others?
I was awarded 1st team all League and HM all county this past season, and was also awarded MVP for the team this past season as well.
Which schools are your biggest rivals?
Our school’s biggest rival is Teaneck High. No matter the sport, the competition is always crazy and the stands are always filled.
What do you do during the offseason to stay in shape and prepare for next year? (Club team? Workouts? Watch VB vids? Go to College games?) Do you play other sports? (if so, which ones?)
Over the quarantine break, I have been consistent with working out, and making sure I have a strong core, and have been doing drills to make me jump higher. I watch college and sometimes pro volleyball games to learn the game better, and plan to take what I see at the higher level and bring it onto the court.