After spiking her final volleyball as a member of the Colorado Buffaloes last November, Alexa Smith was hoping to continue her career in some fashion. The Lewis-Palmer alumna will do just that when she joins her first professional team later this summer.
Last week, it was announced that Smith, 22, signed a contract with the Beziers Angels in Bezier, France. The team announced that Smith was its first recruit for the upcoming season. She signed a one-year contract.
The Angels are the defending French champions in the Ligue A Feminine Volley, taking the title in a five-set win in 2018. The team also won a title in the Nationale 1B in the inaugural season of 1997 and took the Nationale 1 title in 2010.
“Volleyball has always been a big part of my life,” Smith said last week while taking a break from training. “I’ve put so much time into volleyball I want this to continue as long as I can.”
Smith is listed on the Angels roster as a receiver and attacker, and will likely be a six-rotation outside for the Angels. She thrived as an outside hitter in high school — leading Lewis-Palmer to two Class 4A state championships — and later for Purdue and Colorado.
Smith, an AVCA All-American, finished her career last fall with top-10 marks in CU history in kills and attacks, and is top 30 in school history in digs and aces. She is also the second Colorado native and 16th player in school history to hit 1,000 career kills, doing so in just three seasons with Colorado.
Head coach Jesse Mahoney said Smith “… affects the game in all areas: She is an efficient attacker, an elite passer and lethal from the serving line.”
Smith welcomes the opportunity to play with and against many of the world’s elite players.
“(Beziers) has a good reputation, and I can’t wait to get over there and start working with everyone,” said Smith, who graduated from CU last month with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business and marketing. “From what I’ve seen, volleyball is really big over there, and they have big fan support.”
Smith has never been to Europe, but she has played high-level volleyball in other parts of the world, like Guatemala, Thailand and China as a member of U.S. Junior National teams.
“I’m really excited to meet different people and see another part of the world,” she said.
Among Smith’s other accolades, she was the 2015 High School Player of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association, as well as the 2014 Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year. As a junior, Smith was named PrepVolleyball.com’s National Junior Player of the Year and the CHSAA 4A Player of the Year.
She was a member of the USA Volleyball Junior National team in 2013 and 2014, and won a gold medal in 2014 at the NORCECA Continental U20 Championships in Guatemala. She was a longtime player for the Monument-based Colorado Juniors Volleyball Club.