Benet’s Rachael Fara is one of the best middle hitters in the country. She won a state title as a sophomore and a national club title last summer. She has been named the MVP of every tournament in which Benet has participated this season. She is headed to Northwestern on scholarship next fall.
The 6-foot-3 senior has spent countless hours working on her skills. Her only regret is that she did not spend more.
“I’ve always been a middle,” Fara said. “Even when I was younger, the coaches would just stick me up at the net and say ‘Block’ or ‘Hit’ or something. But I always wanted to try to learn how to play different positions. I wish that l had learned to do some basic fundamental skills that I still struggle with now.”
If Fara struggles with any part of her game, it’s not for lack of hard work. Even during the off-season, Fara can be found in the gym four, five hours a day, lifting weights, working on her footwork, sharing what she’s learned with younger players and learning what she can from the veterans.
“Rachael has worked countless hours in the gym to turn herself into one of the best middles in the nation,” Benet coach Brad Baker said. “Not only have Rachael’s skills improved tremendously, but her leadership skills and confidence in herself has also improved beyond what I could have imagined.”
Fara could not have imagined that the Redwings would be 28-0 heading into this weekend’s Autumnfest Tournament at Glenbard East.
“I’m kind of torn,” she said. “I figured that like other Benet teams, we would come across another team that would just hand it to us one day and we’d have to wake up and realize that we’re aren’t unbeatable.
“But I don’t dwell on it. We still have to keep moving forward.”
Next year, Fara will head to Northwestern, where she will realize a goal of playing in the best conference in the country against some of the best players in the nation at one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world.
“Northwestern’s academics are just unparalleled compared to any of the other schools I visited,” she said. “I found myself constantly comparing every other school to Northwestern before I realized I should be going to Northwestern rather than trying to find a school to beat Northwestern.”
Although she has not decided what she will study, Fara admitted she is intrigued by biomedical engineering.
“It’s a program with a lot of fancy terms, but you can go so many directions with it,” she said. “I know I want to stay in the realm of athletics and working with the body. I guess I’ll figure it out in a few years.”
Which should give her plenty of time to learn how to play another position.