AUSTIN, Texas — Sadie Swift gives the Maroons a stable force in the middle and has led them to a strong start in 6A District-25 play. Austin is looking to bounce back after an early exit in last season’s UIL playoffs. The senior says they’ve set bigger goals than just making it back to the postseason.

“We obviously want to win district, that’s a big goal of ours,” Swift said. “Last year we got to the playoffs for the first time in forever, but we lost in the first round. So, we want to make a playoff run and that just comes with just playing together and playing as a team.”

Swift’s natural athleticism and leadership qualities caught the attention of the University of North Carolina, where she is set to play next fall. She says hard work is key to her success, but that doesn’t mean Swift can’t keep things light with her teammates.

“I’m a hard worker and I think that’s helped guide me to all the opportunities I’ve gotten, but I also think I’m a fun and goofy person, so it’s nice to bring that onto the court,” Swift said.

The senior understands her upside, and there is still room to grow. Swift didn’t start playing volleyball seriously until middle school and thought her future was in another sport.

“I was a big basketball player. I didn’t start playing volleyball seriously until the eighth grade,” Swift said. “I thought I was going to play basketball in college, but [around] freshman and sophomore year, I flipped. And because I started so late, everyone thought I had a higher ceiling. I think I still have a lot of potential. I just need to remember my timing on everything.”

The Austin local is heading to Chapel Hill for its atmosphere and education standards. Sadie joins the Tarheels hoping to contribute any way she can.

“The campus is beautiful and I feel like such a great tradition and history and the academics were a big thing for me,” Sadie said. “I just want to make a big impact at UNC. I’m super excited. I love all the girls and the coaches, so just to help them be as good as they can be.”

Swift and Austin High continue district play against Hays on Tuesday, Sept. 28.