Player of the Week: Ali Ruffin

WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – South Central junior volleyball standout Ali Ruffin is our newest WITN Pepsi Player of the Week!

After wins last week over D.H. Conley and C.B. Aycock, the South Central volleyball team is now 12-0 overall and 7-0 in conference on the season.

Behind the Falcons perfection is outside hitter Ali Ruffin. The junior is actually the younger sister of the team's head coach, Kayla Ruffin.

"She's a leader," said Kayla Ruffin. "She's hardworking. She never gives up."

And that showed last Thursday as the star junior helped the Falcons complete an improbable five-set comeback victory over rival D.H. Conley.

"It was great, because I've talked to so many people, and I talked to people after the game, and they were like, 'I didn't think you guys could come back after being down two sets," and I was like, 'Well, I don't know, it just shows that it can happen if you work hard," Ali Ruffin said.

Hard work is the backbone of Ali's game; a game she's been playing since she was 12 years old.

"Like I said, she wants to make sure she's doing her absolute best," Kayla Ruffin added. "And she doesn't care who you are or how big you are. She's going to go with all the force that she has."

"In our family, it doesn't matter if we're playing a board game or anything, we always want to win," Ali Ruffin said.

This season, Ali is averaging four kills and three digs per set. But the junior says she is much more than just her impressive stats.

"I'm a good all-around player, and also I can help people see what's open on the other side of the net, too," Ali Ruffin said.

But on the sideline is Ali's older sister, Kayla. The duo is cherishing the moments they get to spend together on the volleyball court.

"It's no different than playing for any other coach, but every win means more," Ali Ruffin explained.

"I want her to do the best she can," added Kayla Ruffin. "I want her to be able to go far in life, so I am so proud of her. She's my backbone. Family-wise and everything. So just to see her doing well makes me really happy."

Ruffin already has some offers to play at the collegiate level but right now her focus is on the Falcons, who have a great chance to remain unbeaten tonight.

The Falcons improved to 13-0 (7-0) with a sweep of Eastern Wayne Tuesday night at South Central High School.

For more on Ruffin, check out the video above! (Feature airs Tuesday during WITN Sports at 6:20 p.m.)

NOTE: If you have a student-athlete or athlete that you would like to nominate as a WITN Pepsi Player of the Week, please email a bio to Tyler Feldman at tyler.feldman@witn.com.