Volleyball or singing, Madison Clements excels

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By Sam Draut

The gym falls silent. All eyes look toward the American flag as all ears listen to the national anthem, being sung by someone that all eyes will fall upon moments later. Some spectators glance over during the minute-and-a-half song to see, to the surprise of some, but expectation of most, a volleyball player in uniform with a microphone in hand. 

Whether Madison Clements is a volleyball player who is a great singer, or a singer who is a great volleyball player, her voice demands a presence that commands the attention of whoever is in the audience just before a North Oldham volleyball game. 

The transition from volleyball player to singer, back to volleyball player couldn’t be more evident than in a five-minute period before a match starts. Careful to avoid straining her voice during warmups, Clements won’t shout as much while her team goes through pregame routines. Then before the match begins and sometimes out of breath, Clements will sing the national anthem, which is customary for KHSAA sporting events.  

Though Clements says she has gotten used to transitioning from warmups, to singing, to competing in a match, North Oldham coach Kayla Koerber is amazed the senior is able to do it.

“It is unbelievable that she belts that song out and then goes and succeeds on the court,” Koerber said. “It isn’t like she is only good at singing and mediocre at volleyball. She is a stud at both.”

Once the song ends, Clements heads onto the court for the Lady Mustangs as a captain and starting middle blocker. North Oldham is ranked sixth in the state and holds the best record in Region Eight at 19-2 after losing several impactful players last year. 

There may not seem to be similarities between singing and volleyball, but if there is anything that Clements can pinpoint that connects the two, it’s the rush she gets when either goes well. 

“That feeling in my stomach that I love,” Clements said. “I’ll hit a certain note in singing or get a certain kill in volleyball. There are certain things that make me realize why I am so passionate about those things.”

On match nights, both of her skills are intertwined, whether it be hitting a note or sending the ball to the floor for a Mustang point. She will continue to do both in college.  

Clements committed to Trevecca Nazarene University, a Division-II school in the heart of Nashville, Tenn. where she will major in music business. When Clements started to look for schools, TNU seemed perfect. First, because it had her major of choice, but second, the vibrant music and entertainment scene provides an opportunity for Clements to spark her singing career. 

While several other Division II and III schools frequently communicated with Clements and watched her play, TNU was much different than the traditional recruiting process. Clements reached out to TNU head coach Jayme Crowley and had to do much of the work herself. She attended a camp, but didn’t expect to hear from Crowley because the program was looking at a different student-athlete.

But, a few days later, Clements received a call and was offered a scholarship. 

“She stays really focused and accomplishes the goals she wants to accomplish,” Koerber said. “That is evident in her getting the scholarship at Trevecca. She wanted to be in a music city and Nashville is prime for that.”

Nashville is most notably known for country music, but Clements believes she can be set apart because of her interest in R&B and soul music. Her biggest inspiration has come from Adele, while up-and-coming artists Alessia Cara and Andrew Day have helped model some of her singing styles. 

The move to Nashville should help to jumpstart a singing career, Clements hopes. It’s hard not to think her career hasn’t already been jumpstarted after one look at her Instagram profile. She boasts nearly 30,000 followers and has videos of her singing, ranging from original songs to popular hits. 

“That is what I have been trying to perfect,” Clements said of her online presence. “That is something I can get started with now as a student-athlete because I don’t have a lot of time.”

Her teammates tell her that she is famous, but joking aside, Clements has built a strong presence on social media. What makes it all even more remarkable is that she hasn’t had any singing lessons. 

“I have mostly been teaching myself. I listen to other people and try to do things that they are doing, and then eventually it starts becoming natural to me,” Clements said, adding that she wants lessons in the near future to make sure she is vocally trained to avoid hurting her voice. 

Although she hasn’t had lessons yet, Clements has picked up plenty of experience over the years. She has sang her entire life, performing in talent shows, church and singing the national anthem at sporting events.  Clements sings at North Oldham football games on Friday nights and sang in front of thousands of people at volleyball tournaments in convention centers, which she admitted was the scariest place to sing because of the amount of people and echoing throughout the whole venue. 

Clements has spoken with producers about recording her work and collegiate volleyball looms ahead, but for now, she is a leader on the best team in Region Eight. Because she is a middle blocker, Clements isn’t on the floor all the time, but Koerber believes Clements is a vocal leader regardless of where she is. 

“She is really good about bringing her team together and getting them refocused and re-centered,” Koerber said. “She brings a lot of energy and communication.”

In a recent match against inter-county rival South Oldham, hundreds of students filled the gym in support of the Lady Mustang volleyball team. In her final season as a North Oldham volleyball player, Clements appreciates the support. 

“It is nice that we are finally getting some credit. People at our school are seeing that we are a good team,” Clements said. “We have had a good program for a long time, but no one has noticed it until now.”

Email Sam Draut at sports@oldhamera.com. Follow him on Twitter @Sports_TheEra.