Joi Harvey was awarded the Mountain West Conference Freshman Volleyball Player of the Year.
A graduate of Goodyear’s Desert Edge High School, Harvey is the first Air Force volleyball player to win an individual conference award. She tied for third on the team with 118 total kills, 2.31 kills per set and 147 points scored.
This award reflected the effort she displayed on the court, and she is grateful for it.
“It was overwhelming,” Harvey said about receiving the recognition. “I’m glad I won it, though, because I worked really hard for it. The whole program is really there for me, and they pushed me to be the player I am today.”
Harvey played for Desert Edge all four years of her schooling. She also played club volleyball for the Revolution 18s, a division of the local Revolution Volleyball Academy. Its goal is to develop young girls into technically sound athletes.
She always wanted to be an integral part of her teams.
“When I was a freshman on the junior team, it made me want to work even harder to get on the varsity team,” Harvey said. “It made me more competitive.”
Harvey is guided by Air Force head coach Keith Barnett, who is in heading into his third season as the Falcons’ head coach.
The Air Force began recruiting Harvey in her sophomore year at Desert Edge. Barnett said it’s meaningful to help Harvey develop her skills.
“He has seen me since I was a sophomore, so he has seen me develop into the player I am today,” Harvey said. “On the court, there has been a lot of communication between the coaches and myself.”
Harvey attended the Air Force Academy’s Prep School following her graduation from Desert Edge, preparing her to succeed.
“They helped me with my study habits and to not be afraid to ask other people for help,” Harvey said. “That is a big part of the academy, not being afraid to ask for help and being confident with yourself.”
While she may have been “surprised” to have won this award, the effort and intensity on the court is nothing new for her.
Harvey is planning to major in behavioral science with a minor in Spanish. She has plans to become a counselor.