Any team can have playmakers, but if those stars don’t have anybody to set them up, the success won’t come.
For the Idaho State volleyball team, Hayley Farrer is quietly one of the most important players on the floor, giving high quality attackers such as reigning Big Sky Conference MVP Tressa Lyman plenty of opportunities to rack up points for the Bengals.
Not many teams are better than Idaho State at setting up teammates on the floor.
Through October 13 the Bengals lead the Big Sky with a 12.7 assist/set average.
It’s all about the team for Farrer.
The redshirt junior is second in the conference individually in assists/set, including a season-high 63 last week at Northern Colorado, one year after finishing third with a 12.72 average.
Twice this year she has been named Big Sky player of the week, including taking the honor after last week when the Bengals took road matches at Northern Colorado and North Dakota.
Her leadership of others is not something that is restricted to the volleyball court, with the ISU setter looking to assist those around her even more once her time in college is completed.
“I would like to be an athletic director and hopefully one day own my own athletic facility,” she stated. “I want to host underprivileged camps for those that normally wouldn’t be able to afford it and give them the opportunity to be involved.”
Hayley’s interest in helping others has always been there, but it took an unconventional means to fully realize what she wanted to do going forward.
“Honestly, this is going to sound stupid, but I had a dream one night that I was helping all these kids that didn’t really have the resources to do what they wanted and I just went with it and I haven’t looked back or questioned it once.”
She has already become involved coaching youth volleyball teams back in Idaho Falls during the offseason, also leading camps.
“It has been awesome. I love those girls to death,” said Farrer. “So cool to see where they started and where they go. You can help them to improve as women and athletes. I also do a lot of camps in the summer and they are my main jobs then.”
Additionally, the volleyball team goes to local elementary schools on a consistent basis, interacting with the children during recess.
With two years left for Farrer at ISU, including the remainder of 2015, expectations are high.
“[Our goal] is to win Big Sky both years,” said Farrer. “There is no reason we shouldn’t. I will be there for the girls when they need me and lead by example.”
That confidence abounds around the team, with an experienced group featuring Kenzie Filer, a two-time conference player of the week already this season up front, and newcomer Kaitlyn Johnson, a Wyoming transfer, on the back-end as the libero.
Johnson is from Idaho Falls, just like Farrer, with the two having played at Idaho Falls High School under the direction of Kaitlyn’s mom Wendy.
With the two having known each other since they were ten, the reunion has been a rare one of high school teammates competing together at the collegiate level.
“I had always joked with her that she needed to come here even after we went our separate ways. I always told her we needed to play together,” said Farrer. “Then when she told me she was going to make a switch, we talked about it a little bit, and then she made the call and said she was coming and I just started crying.”
The Idaho Falls connection is strong at ISU and throughout other schools in the Rocky Mountain region.
“We have a really good club program, which is really rare,” said Farrer. “Usually you have to go to Utah or California, but we were lucky to have one right in our backyard.”
Being close to home was an important factor in her coming to ISU.
“That was the main reason why I chose Idaho State,” Farrer stated. “The main reason was so that parents could have an easy trip. They come to every game anyways, so it makes it easy on them. Plus I can go home whenever I want to.”
There was however a decision to make for Hayley on which sport to focus on, although certain factors made her choice a little more obvious.
“I originally wanted to play basketball, until I started getting recruited for volleyball, and volleyball is more girly, you know? I realize I am more petite and don’t have the body build to play basketball, plus with volleyball there is a net between players.”
ISU volleyball couldn’t be happier to have her.