Alex Oliver is at 2,500 and counting.
The Jasper senior volleyball star broke the school record for career kills earlier this season and looks to add to that number as the Vikings head down the home stretch of the season.
Oliver, who has started for coach Bobby Daniels’ Vikings since her eighth grade year, broke the record of another star player — McKinley Ferguson — who graduated last year.
“I didn’t know until after I got it,” Oliver, an outside hitter, said of the record. “Coach said, ‘You broke the record.’ I was like, I didn’t know that.”
Oliver, a University of West Florida commit, didn’t always see herself as a volleyball player.
“I loved basketball for a long time when I was younger — just because it’s easier for a young kid. Volleyball is more technical and more about fundamentals, but the more I played, the more I loved it. I just love the game. I’m very competitive, and I couldn’t go without it, honestly,” said Oliver, who is one of two seniors on this year’s team along with Sydnee Graeber.
Though she has the school’s kills record, Oliver is more than just a force at the net, she consistently leads the team in multiple categories.
“The thing that separates Alex from a lot of players is her all-around game. She can play the back row as well as the front. For example, against Mountain Brook (the No. 4 team in Class 6A), on serve-receive she took 26 or 27 balls with no passing errors. She also had 20 digs. The difference in the match was how she played on the back row.
“Another thing that’s great is that she’s a team player and is always encouraging her teammates. She brings a lot of energy and passion to the game. I tease her all the time that I’m never taking her out and sitting her on the bench because she’s so loud. She’s just yelling for her teammates. Alex is a terrific athlete. She’s gotten to where she’s at because she’s put in a lot of hard work and extra time to become the player she is.”
Despite the move up in classification to 6A, Jasper (35-10) finds itself in position to make another state tournament run.
The Vikings won state championships in each of the last two years in Class 5A. Oliver has been on four state tournament teams.
In Oliver’s 8th-grade season, the Vikings dropped their first match in Class 6A to Daphne. They followed with a runner-up finish to Pelham in 2017 before winning 5A titles in 2018 and 2019. She’s hoping to add a third championship to her resume.
“If we play our best, the effort is there and everybody plays hard — I think we have a very good chance at achieving our goal, which is to win state,” Oliver said.