Student athlete profile - Matt Ruth

Matt Ruth

Clarendon Hills

What goals have you set for your senior year in volleyball?

My goal for our team is I want us to win regionals again this year, If we win that, it would be our fifth year in a row as a school. Personally, I want to make at least Second Team All State.

What do enjoy about the sport?

I really enjoy how much of a team sport it is and getting close with my teammates.

How long have you played?

I started playing in eighth grade. That’s when my older brother started playing, and I thought I might as well try it out, too.

What’s been the biggest challenge?

I went through a couple big position changes. I went from middle to right side, and now I’ve made the transition from right side to outside hitter. The main adjustment I had to overcome was learning different footwork.

How would your teammates describe you?

I think as a kind, passionate and energetic. This year we have a lot more underclassmen starting on varsity, and I try to help develop them and help them progress. I was in that situation where I was having to learn to play the game at a whole different speed.

What else have you been involved with at Central?

I’m president of the German club.

Where are you heading next?

Purdue University. I hope to either play club volleyball or just recreationally there.

Will you keep tabs on Red Devils volleyball?

I’ll definitely be attending games when I can to watch my younger brother play.

Any special talents?

I can do a cartwheel.

Why does head coach Tom Gilbert like having Ruth on the squad?

Matt Ruth brings patience, experience, leadership and calm to a very young team. He is aware that he is the go-to player in our offense, however he makes it clear to his teammates that he wants them to be that option, too. Matt has done an excellent job in teaching the younger athletes the importance of having a balanced team. When he sees an important lesson to be learned in the middle of a match, he will make sure to communicate the value of that moment. He knows a win is just as important as leading by example.

— profile by Ken Knutson, photo by Jim Slonoff

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean