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1,000 Assists: Olivia Walls and her record breaking career
Olivia Walls with her commemorative 1,000 assist volleyball after the Aug. 29 game in which she recorded the record breaking assist. Photo by Paige Sweany of Sole Photography. - photo by File photo

Though the Dawson County Lady Tigers’ Volleyball season did not go as planned this year, Olivia Walls accomplished history when she became the first Lady Tiger to record 1,000 assists in her career at Dawson County High School. 

“I did know I was close to 1,000 assists,” Walls said. “I was super excited because no one in the program had achieved that before.”

Walls plays setter, meaning that she is setting up teammates around her to score points, like a point guard in basketball or the quarterback in football. 

“Assists are the number one way I can track how I am doing,” Walls said. “For me to get an assist, it takes an entire team effort.”

Walls broke the record in the middle of her senior season on Aug. 29. 

Lady Tigers player Olivia Walls serves in a game against Collins Hill High School on Sept. 17, 2020. - photo by Jacob Smith

Speaking to the Dawson County News, Walls said that she credits her volleyball career for knowing how to communicate successfully with others and for being a better teammate and friend to all the people around her. 

She added that volleyball taught her it’s best to be a leader through her actions rather than her words. 

“To me, everyone is a leader on the court in their own way,” Walls said. “Being a leader means being for the team on and off the court. Giving 100% at practice and at games, being positive and encouraging, and being a good teammate are things everyone can do to be a leader.”

Walls, along with Makale Everett and Haylie Selzer are the first ever graduating class of the Lady Tigers volleyball team. The team started in 2017 when the trio were freshmen. In that time, the Lady Tigers program qualified for the state tournament twice and hosted an elite eight game last season. 

“It was such a great experience to host the tournament at home,” Walls said. “A lot of my family was able to watch me play in person. It became real to see what hometown support felt like in the Ford.”

Walls said she is not pursuing volleyball collegiately now, but if an opportunity arose, she would definitely entertain the idea. But if her competitive volleyball career were to end, she will always be known as one of the pioneer Lady Tigers players. 

“To me, it means that any goal is achievable with hard work and dedication,” Walls said. “When I first started playing volleyball, I never imagined what the sport would become for me. Being a tiger will always hold a special place in my heart.”