Passion to excel guides Overmyer to the top


Kathleen Ortiz

Senior LIbby Overmyer blocks the ball against Kingwood High School in a match earlier this season. Overmyer was the MVP of the state tournament last year as she helped lift the Panthers to the 5A state title.

Kathleen Ortiz, Features Editor

Senior Libby Overmyer changed in and out of dance tutus, heels and fancy outfits 10 times a day. She pretended to be a ballerina and practiced back handsprings in her yard daily, convinced she would become a gymnast.
After a growth spurt put her at 6-foot tall, she realized there might be another plan for her.

She practically grew up in gyms, trailing after her mom, who coached club volleyball for 19 years. As her mom worked with other kids, Libby would get in line and try to keep up. Libby and her siblings didn’t last long in dance and other activities. Their parents’ passion for sports was passed down to them.

“We’re very intense, we’re loud and into sports,” Libby’s mom Holly Overmyer said. “We are a little crazy sometimes. Our kids seemed to have a talent for sports in the world so that’s where we kind of put our efforts.”

The Overmyer’s oldest daughter Hannah plays volleyball at Tulsa. Patrick, who is a freshman at Kingwood Park, plays football, basketball and baseball.

Libby, the middle child, fell in line as well. She is already committed to play Division I volleyball at Colgate University. She’s ranked among the top in her class and wants a career in the medical field. She was MVP of the state volleyball tournament last year as she led the Panthers to the school’s first state championship in volleyball.

After a visit with Colgate coaches last year, Holly Overmyer was excited to hear all Libby had talked about. She especially wanted to know how the coaches had reacted when Libby told them about her recent volleyball honors.
There were no stories to share though. Libby never mentioned them. She didn’t want to appear as if she was bragging.

Pullquote Photo

It’s hard seeing all your friends always having all this free time and then me just being tired and always out of town, always on planes, and just stressed out with school and stuff.

— Libby Overmyer

“I see a lot of kids as soon as [they win] anything are posting it because they want everyone to know and I’ve never seen Libby do that,” Holly said. “She’s like a typical middle child. She kind of stays under the radar a little bit, she knows what she wants and when she wants something, she makes it happen.”

Her nights include volleyball practice, where she’s away from home from 5:30 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. She also has homework for five AP/Dual classes. Her schedule is packed between club volleyball, school volleyball and school soccer.

“It’s really hard and I just don’t get a lot of sleep, but it’s sort of become a routine so I’m used to it,” Libby said. “Freshman year, I was super overwhelmed and I would have breakdowns, but now a lot of other people are doing the same thing so I just kept telling myself that and just really focus on time management helps.”

Although Libby was an integral part of the state champion volleyball team and the state qualifying soccer team last year, she never neglected her classes. She ended her junior year ranked No. 12 in her class.

“She takes pride in her school work,” Holly said. “She’s not like me at all. She is on the ball. I’ve never had a teacher tell me she is not turning things in.”

Overmyer put a lot of thought into her decision to go to Colgate. Libby’s mom played volleyball at Ohio State University and helped her team go from the bottom of the Big Ten to winning the conference. Her older sister has already found much success at Tulsa. Both said they were happy Libby chose Colgate.

“I think she really was smart about it,” Hannah said. “She didn’t just think about volleyball, I mean they’re a great volleyball program but they’re also an amazing academic school and I think she was really conscious of why she wanted to go there.”

Hannah and Libby have always been close. Despite Libby’s success the past two years, she still considers her freshman year — when she played alongside Hannah — the highlight of high school. Now, their busy schedules and the distance leaves them with a lot of FaceTime calls.

“Last year I think was a pretty difficult year for her,” Hannah said. “She would FaceTime me a lot and she just seemed very overwhelmed. But she always would kind of freak out for a second and then she would collect herself and she would just get it done. She just powered through.”

The frustrations never last long. Even as a toddler, Holly Overmyer said Libby never cried. As a baby, she would get tired, curl up in the floor and take a nap. No scene was made.

Her demeanor never really changed as she got older. It has helped immensely during tough matches and stressful situations in classes. It’s also a trait her mom has tried to adopt after years of watching her daughter handle things so well.

“She is calm, and I am not,” said Holly. “I try to see how calm she is in situations. She doesn’t get loud and fiery like I do.”

The pressure has weighed on Libby, however. She even considered quitting volleyball. She said the feeling increased as high school hit. Friends would invite her to go to the lake or to take a trip out of town. She had to say no over and over. She had flights to catch, games to play.

“It’s hard seeing all your friends always having all this free time and then me just being tired and always out of town, always on planes and just stressed out with school and stuff,” Libby said. “I realized I wouldn’t be quitting because I don’t like the game, though, only because I missed other things. I love the sport. And it has given me so many great opportunities.”

She said much of her drive comes from her mom’s passion for sports and life. There is a saying Libby’s grandfather used to always say and Holly repeats it to her kids: Do a job, big or small. Do it right or not at all.

“My kids sometimes tell me, ‘OK, we pick not at all,’” Holly said laughing. “That’s their cop out. Then I tell them that’s not an option, ‘Do it right.’”

Holly laughs, though, because it’s clear her three kids have gotten her message. Now, she just waits to see what’s ahead as Libby caps off an unforgettable high school career.

“I just hope she finds the passion to spark her to get up every day, learn in college and pursue a career she loves,” she said.