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TV20 Meldon Law Scholar Athlete of the Week: Rylie Tam (Santa Fe)

Raider raises her game on the court and in the classroom
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 7:00 PM EDT
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ALACHUA, Fla. (WCJB) - Rylie Tam isn’t intimidated by hard work or the pace of her favorite sport, volleyball.

“It’s a fast sport, so you don’t get like bored,” said Santa Fe senior Riley Tam. “If you make an error you have like 30 seconds and then the next play is going on so you just kind of have to forget about it and don’t get to dwell on it.”

Since she was seven-years-old, Tam has played volleyball. And it didn’t take her long to realize she wanted to dedicate herself to the game.

“When I was younger, to be honest, I was really bad. I didn’t really like having a bunch of people better than me and not really playing a lot. So I decided I don’t wanna be that person. I wanna help my team win. So I just worked really hard to be the best I can.”

All that hard work has paid off for the four year starter for the Raiders. Tam recently recorded her one thousandth career kill. She said it validates her dedication.

“It means a lot because it’s been a lot of years in the making and I really do love this school and it means a lot just to be able to be successful for them.”

In the classroom, Tam has a 4.7 weighted g.p.a. because of taking advanced classes since she was a freshman.

She said her favorite subject is math. The Santa Fe senior admits other subjects a fine, but the numbers game is a challenge she finds stimulating.

“In classes like English, there’s a bunch of right answers, but in math when you get the right answer you know it’s right and it’s like solving a puzzle.”

Her incredible academic stats have helped pave the way for her to attend the University of Pittsburgh or Dartmouth.

“I want to play volleyball in college so it’s kinda important to have good grades to because that can open doors for you and volleyball’s not forever. One day I’ll have to get a job and I’d like to get a good one.”

Once she finally steps off the court and becomes a permanent participant in the game of life, Tam hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon and work for a professional sports team as a team doctor.

While the lofty goal might sound out of reach for some, she knows it just takes time and effort to accomplish her dream.

“Everybody faces challenges, everybody has hard times. Nobody’s gonna do it for you. Everybody’s worried about themselves so if you just go out and get it done and work hard then you’ll be successful in life.”

Tam will decide which college she’ll attend in December.

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