Emma Hintermeyer Sets Girls’ Volleyball up for Success


Courtesy of Emma Hintermeyer

Although junior Emma Hintermeyer originally trained to be a middle blocker, during her time at Mater Dei High and Portola High, she learned how to play both the opposite and outside positions as well.

The pandemic has proven difficult for a sport as collaborative as girls’ volleyball because safety precautions have prevented teammates from working closely with one another. It is difficult enough to play volleyball, let alone play it with teammates who do not know each other well. Most new players would feel intimidated by these circumstances, but not junior Emma Hintermeyer.

Though Hintermeyer played volleyball recreationally during elementary school, she did not begin training seriously until she joined her local club at age 11. It was there that she learned how to perform as a middle blocker and developed a passion for the team sport. 

“For club, you usually get the same girls every year, but sometimes some of them leave or some of them join,” Hintermeyer said. “It’s not really that hard transitioning from club teams because you already know some of the girls, but with high school, you just start building relationships through playing, and then you’ll begin hanging out outside of practice. It just takes time to build relationships. Once you get closer, it’s so much easier to play together.” 

Hintermeyer knows this better than anyone, having played on two different high school teams. During her freshman and sophomore years, Hintermeyer attended Mater Dei High. Although she said she enjoyed her old team’s dynamic, the competitive environment was especially intense, which was one of the reasons why she decided to transfer.

Although she has only been part of Portola High’s volleyball team for a few months, she has already built strong bonds with her teammates. 

“I feel like our whole team is pretty close, but Emma filled an important spot on our team,” outside hitter and sophomore Chelsea Riedel said. “We were kind of heartbroken when our setter [and senior Faith DeNeve] got hurt, so having Emma brought joy back to our team.”

Beyond acting as a morale booster, Hintermeyer, as one of the team’s tallest players, has also established herself as a valuable offensive member of the team.

“If we can play this year, we’ll be able to put her to work right away,” girls’ volleyball head coach Heidi Martasian said. “She would be able to block for us; she would be able to hit for us. We’ve been working a little bit on passing and defense, so who knows. She could potentially work into the equation that way, too. But she’s super friendly, super outgoing as well. So just her personality as well lends itself to our team. And so, she’s really made an impact right away and fit in right away too.”

Although it is unlikely that Hintermeyer will be able to demonstrate her skills in an official game this year due to the cancelation of CIF fall sports championships, she said she hopes to play volleyball at the collegiate level, so her volleyball journey is nowhere near finished.