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Athlete Spotlight: Ludington volleyball player Ashley McPike has NASA in her sights

The 5-foot-11 middle hitter with a 4.143 GPA provides a big lift in the front row for the Orioles.

Ashley McPike puts “student” in student-athlete.

The Ludington senior sports a 4.143 GPA and her current class load is out of this world. McPike is taking courses such as general chemistry, Calculus 3, and engineering physics at West Shores Community College on top of the English class she’s in at Ludington High School.

McPike’s ultimate goal is to work for NASA. She intends on attending either University of Michigan or Western Michigan University to study aerospace engineering or electrical engineering.

The fact that McPike understands physics so well does not hurt her on the volleyball court. The 5-foot-11 middle hitter knows all about lift and launch angles.

Ludington volleyball coach Liz Holden’s favorite move by McPike: Spiking the ball to the floor as close to a 90-degree angle as possible.

McPike? More like McSpike!

She is a key contributor for Ludington’s volleyball team, which is 31-6-2 overall and 4-0 in the West Michigan Conference Lakes Division. But McPike also is a person with great depth.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

“She’s interesting because she’ll say things that come out of left field. You don’t expect it from her because she’s kind of quiet and then all of a sudden she’s out there. Like, she’s reserved then she’s not reserved,” Ludington volleyball coach Liz Holden said.

“But she’s really fun to have on the team and honestly, like, when she gets ahold of that ball and it goes straight down, I get so excited. It’s amazing. I love it.”

McPike ranks third on her team in kills with 137 on the season and leads the Orioles in blocks with 69. She also has 70 digs, 33 aces, and 13 assists.

Ludington won the WMC Lakes Division title last year in its first year in the league. The Orioles are looking to repeat and make a deeper run in the state tournament after suffering a tough five-set loss in the Division 2 district semifinals to eventual state runner-up Cadillac.

Next Tuesday (Oct. 10), Ludington visits Fremont in a match that should decide the WMC Lakes Division regular-season title. The Packers also are unbeaten in the division.

McPike is having a blast playing volleyball and she really enjoys being part of the robotics club at Ludington.

She’s looking behind the clouds.

“She’s going after NASA. She’s taking college classes, high school classes — she’s taking college physics, which I think is insane. Very smart and takes her studies very seriously,” Holden said.

“I mean, we went to watch (Muskegon Community College) play volleyball in Muskegon and she texts me ahead of time to let me know that she had a lot of homework she was going to bring with her but she would try to be watching and doing her homework at the same time because that’s important to her, which is how it should be.”

Photo by Courtney Jimison | CatchMark

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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