By Owen Gotimer
Purcellville (November 29, 2016) — Loudoun Valley High School senior Sydney Hays has made a commitment to continue her softball career at the University of Dallas starting in the 2017-2018 school year.
“I was playing in a tournament in Denver over the summer and coach Krysiak was watching a game. I got an offer at the end of the game to play for Dallas,” the 5-foot-7 Hays said. “After visiting the university in September, I knew that’s where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life. I chose Dallas because of the location, the size of the school and the team atmosphere just felt right.”
Head coach Beth Krysiak will enter her fourth season at the helm of the Dallas program in 2017. In 2016, Krysiak led the young Division III Crusaders to a 21-23 record — including a 13-11 record in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Dallas graduated just one senior in 2016 and will graduate just five more in 2017.
“I was playing second base when coach Krysiak was watching and I had a really good game,” said Hays, who will transition from playing outfield at Loudoun Valley to middle infield for Dallas. “I’ve always felt like I’ve been able to get a good read on the ball off the bat which helps me get to the ball quicker.”
While patrolling the outfield for the Lady Vikings, Hays led Loudoun Valley to a 17-2 finish in 2016. The Lady Vikes won the Conference 21B championship before falling to William Byrd in a VHSL 4A West region quarterfinal.
“I’ve been honored to play on the varsity team since my freshman year. We’ve been really successful and have won the conference the past two years,” said Hays, who plays travel ball for the Sarasota Heat. “I’ve been lucky to have good coaching throughout my high school career and I’m really looking forward to my senior year.”
Likewise, Loudoun Valley has been lucky to have Hays. In both 2015 and 2016, Hays was named a Cheers and LoCoSports All-LoCo honorable mention. In 2016, Hays was named first team all-Conference 21B, first team all-VHSL 4A West region and second team all-VHSL 4A state.
Now a senior at Loudoun Valley, Hays started playing softball when she was just six-years-old, transitioning to travel by the time she was eight.
“The competition keeps me motivated,” Hays said. “Especially when we’re playing some of the toughest teams in the country.”