Sophomore Sandra Lynne Fryhofer’s high school yearbook quote says it all: “Trust me, I can handle anything.”
These words, spoken by Legally Blonde’s Elle Woods, describe Fryhofer well. However, the six-foot-tall blonde Harvardian isn’t worried about getting into law school just yet. Right now, the Atlanta, Ga. native is focused on surviving her sophomore year and leading the Harvard women’s volleyball team to victory.
Fryhofer stars as a middle blocker for the on-again-off-again Crimson, which currently posts a 4-8 record. Yet, despite the immense time commitment that comes with membership in Harvard’s Varsity community, volleyball has hardly been Fryhofer’s sole interest.
In addition to daily practices and a hefty game schedule, the sophomore also participates in the Institute of Politics’ Citizenship Tutoring Program and the LowKeys A Cappella group.
Like so many college freshmen that become overwhelmed by the cornucopia of booths at the fall activities fair, Fryhofer bit off a bit more than she could chew. Albeit attending Atlanta’s Westminster School, the Georgian’s transition to collegiate life was less than smooth due to a heavy extracurricular overload.
“I would have volleyball from 3 to 6, and then we would have [a cappella] practice from 7-10,” Fryhofer said. “I would have class all in the morning, so I would just have maybe an hour during the day to do work. And I couldn’t go to bed too late because I was in season—it was really hard.”
Similar problems affect many Crimson athletes, who find it difficult to balance life beyond athletics. Fryhofer has begun this year with a compromise, giving herself a break from a cappella until the spring semester, when the competitive volleyball season will have ended.
However, even with her team’s Ivy League season just beginning, Fryhofer is beginning to stand out. The middle blocker has already set career highs in aces, digs and kills, registering twelve kills in multiple games this year.
Fryhofer’s twin brother George, a walk-on to the Varsity lightweight crew team that discovered Harvard on one of his sister’s early recruiting visits, notes her athletic prowess.
“She thrives in that kind of competitive environment,” George Fryofer said. “She can really help if something’s not going right to bring the team back together. Any sport I’ve ever seen her play, she seems to put everything into.”
While the female Fryhofer and volleyball appear to be a perfect fit, her decision to play was hardly instinctual. The sophomore was also renowned on her high school’s basketball court where she was a four-time letter winner. Fryhofer was captain of the basketball team her junior and senior years, and, as a freshman, helped lead her team to the Georgia State Final Four Tournament.
Yet, for Fryhofer, something with volleyball clicked. Although she stayed in contact with the coaches of both the Crimson’s basketball and volleyball teams, Fryhofer had made decided in her second year of high school to pursue volleyball.
“Volleyball is different from other sports because it’s a game of strategy,” Fryhofer said. “It’s more of a team sport, [and] it’s a lot less stress on your body than basketball.”
George approves of his twin sister’s decision.
“She seemed to enjoy volleyball a lot,” George Fryhofer said. “In volleyball, she was a little bit more in her element.”
Fryhofer also appears to be in her element at Harvard, where she has flourished both on and off the court. In addition to her plethora of extracurricular activities, the pre-law sophomore will be concentrating in Government and is pursing a citation in Spanish.
Fryhofer is also interested in health policy in Latin America, and spent this past summer working for a healthy policy think tank at the Center for Disease Control.
While hoping one day to attend Harvard Law School, the sophomore is currently concentrating on running over Dartmouth—like she could in the Hummer that she drives at home—this coming Friday.
For the multitalented, singing, spiking Fryhofer, the future is wide open.
—Staff writer Alexandra J. Mihalek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.