Claire Doud has been a constant for the Archbishop Murphy volleyball team.
She was a varsity starter for the first game of her freshman year and developed into a key piece for a team that made two trips to the Class 2A state tournament in her four years on the team. Doud became a standout player and leader for the Wildcats after entering the program as a quiet freshman.
“By the time her senior year rolled around, she was a beast,” said Brandon Jones, Doud’s coach at Archbishop Murphy. “This kid works incredibly hard in practice, she works incredibly hard in the offseason.”
Doud averaged 4.5 kills, 3.2 digs, 1.5 aces and .5 blocks per set, was named first-team All-Wesco 3A/2A and earned second-team honors on The Herald’s All-Area team.
For her efforts, the Santa Clara-bound senior won the fan vote for The Herald’s 2019 Girls Athlete of the Year with 6,097 votes.
“It’s honestly really special to win this kind of award because I was up against so many fantastic players and athletes,” Doud said. “It was just really impressive to see my family and friends come together. It was so special to see all the love and support.”
Doud excelled on the court her senior season as the Wildcats were transition from playing in the 2A/1A Cascade Conference to playing in Wesco 3A/2A. Her transition was seamless.
“Wesco was a big jump for us. It was a really, really tough transition (for the team), but she was first-team all-conference in Wesco,” Jones said. “… For us to be new to the conference and (coaches) to only see her one time, and then she gets first team all-conference … I think that says a lot to her ability to adapt to tougher competition and her ability to stand out amongst the crowd.”
Doud received the Terry Ennis Award at Archbishop Murphy, given to the school’s top female and male athletes.
More important than the accomplishments on the court for Doud are the bonds she developed with her teammates.
“We were together at the beginning of the school year, all four years, just working hard and having fun together, and they really helped improve my skills, too,” she said. “They pushed me to work harder and help me get where I am today. (Volleyball) created great relationships, and I’m so thankful for that.”
Doud graduated with a 3.89 grade-point average, qualified for an international DECA competition and provided community service for children with special needs at Camp Providence. She plans to pursue business at Santa Clara University, where she’ll join the volleyball team as a preferred walk-on.
“I think Claire Doud is someone (her teammates are) gonna remember 25 years from now and say, ‘I remember playing volleyball with Claire Doud,’” Jones said. “She has this ability to impact people in a very quiet way. … I don’t think they’ll remember the scores or the opponents or how our record was, but they’ll remember playing with her.”