Olivia Bates leaves no volleyball undug nor stone unturned as the “Renaissance woman” of Providence School athletics.
Marc Gamberdella dubbed her as such after presenting her with the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award for her school.
Her pursuits in the arts, academics, athletics and Christian ministry make the title “an accurate one,” according to Providence athletic director Steve Stokes.
“She works hard and has an attention to detail to balance her work academically while also being a multi-sport athlete and team captain in the girls indoor and girls beach volleyball programs,” he said. “She has a great impact as a leader both on the court and with other students on campus.
“She is a tutor with students on campus and is also our ASB president, always willing to serve others.”
Bates received All-Frontier League honorable mention in volleyball as a junior last season. She was also Providence’s Foreign Language Award winner and has received both California Scholarship Federation and Head of School List honors during all four of her years at the school.
“I’ve had some amazing coaches at Providence who’ve taught me valuable volleyball skills as well as life skills,” she said. “Ever since I came to Providence and was on the volleyball team in seventh grade, coach Stokes has been such a light to me and to all the other people at Providence whom he coaches in athletics.
“And I would not be here without the girls on the team. They’re so incredible.”
Bates has compiled a grade-point average of 4.76 with advanced placement courses in government and economics, Spanish, English literature, chemistry and statistics. She is also studying Christian theism, comparative world views, and photojournalism.
Bates is also pursuing a deeper course of study in the liberal arts by attending nationwide economic and government conferences as part of Providence’s Libertas Scholar Program.
In her spare time, she serves as a math tutor for junior high school and high school students. Her father, Mark Bates, is a professor of mathematics at Oxnard College while her mother, the Rev. Colleen Hurley-Bates, is the lead pastor of the Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara.
Her resume as a renaissance woman also includes playing classic and jazz piano, participating in theater, and also ministering to the homeless.
Stokes describes her as “wise beyond her years.”
“Olivia has been a total joy to have on campus,” he said. “Everything that she does, she brings a positive attitude, and that positive energy which is contagious.
“Wherever she chooses to attend college next year, they’re going to be very fortunate to have someone like her on their campus.”