I attended GMVA for three years. Throughout my time at GMVA I was lucky to have incredibly talented coaches such as Bec and Luke who improved my fundamentals and volleyball IQ greatly. Having the opportunity to be coached by amazing athletes that accomplished so much in their own volleyball careers is priceless. I’m so grateful for the time I was able to spend at GMVA as I know I wouldn’t be playing college volleyball without the expertise and personalized time GMVA coaches are willing to put in. I myself had several one on one sessions with Bec after coming back from wrist surgery and she helped me not only relearn setting skills from the ground up but improve my defensive skills. Anyone who knows Bec knows she has amazing technique and I was extremely lucky to learn from her as a libero. Additionally, I had one on one sessions with Luke focusing on jump serving and reading hitters to get to the right spot faster. I know I wouldn’t be the player I am today without their personalized help. When it came time to start applying to college I didn’t know where to start in regards to talking to coaches. Luke went above and beyond to help me make a video I could send to coaches which was invaluable when you’re living in Australia and they can’t come see you play in person. My coach in particular expressed how much she loved my video and wanted to set up a recruiting visit with me after watching it. I can’t recommend GMVA enough due to their high level of coaching staff, training sessions that always focus on all around skills, game play and conditioning.
Fall sport athletes moved in about 3 weeks before other students at the start of the year. The first day consisted of NCAA compliance meetings, a concussion information session and filling out a bunch of paperwork for our athlete profiles and waivers. (sadly one of these waivers includes giving the right for them to post all the ugly mid-game photos they take everywhere but it’s still an honor to make the sports departments Instagram page regardless) Then the real work started with three training session a day and fitness testing. Spending all day everyday with your teammates makes it even more enjoyable! All first year student athletes are required to do a certain amount of library hours a week during the fall semester as there are strict GPA requirements to maintain eligibility in season. This really helped me build up good study habits that allowed me to make the Dean’s list and even though I’m no longer required to do library hours half my team spends the majority of our free time there before practice. My weekly schedule was more intense than I had expected. Our coach instructed us to sign up for morning classes as our practices were every day from 6pm-8:30pm. However, you always ended up there an hour early to see our athletic trainer for some pre-practice heating, cupping or injury care. Our athletic trainer is amazing and has a ridiculous amount of recovery tools I hadn’t even heard of before college such as compression boots and electrical muscle stimulation machines. My AT got me back up and running after two wrist surgeries and even made me a summer rehab program! We travel around for tournaments and conference matches but home games are always more fun than away games since we get to play in front of our friends and other sports teams love to show support for our teams at home when we can. We’re supplied with team gear that included shoes, practices jerseys, spandex, travel suits, bags etc. I had a great first fall and spring season! In the fall I played primarily as a DS and in spring season I played as libero. My team was fairly successful during the fall season taking out the previous champs and in spring season we took first. Spring season varies greatly from our fall season. In the fall we play conference matches and train every day. In spring season, we are limited by NCAA regulations on how many practices our coach is allowed to be at, so we have two practices with our coach a week with one open gym and three weight lifting sessions a week. Our primary focus is on volleyball during the fall and weight lifting and fitness testing in the spring. My second year of college volleyball was even more exciting than the first. This year I played libero full time and was honored to be awarded defensive player of the year. We again made it to playoffs but sadly lost by 2 in the fifth set. Every time the season ends we’re all glad for a break for about a week before we are all desperately missing being in season! It’s a lot of work and couldn’t be more fun, I can’t imagine being in college and not being part of this incredible team! We’re eager to start preseason this August and get back at it!
With as much time spent in the gym you have to remember the majority of your time is spent in class getting an education so I made sure to choose my university not only based on volleyball but the quality of education I’d receive. Thankfully, my school and coach are understanding of my commitments to my education and volleyball. The staff work with our student athletes to ensure success both in the classroom and on the court. Since I’m currently double majoring with a minor my class load is pretty full on and demanding. I have to take the max amount of credits each semester and my parents were worried it was going to be tough with the extensive volleyball schedule. Luckily, I was able to build great relationships with my professors which I highly recommend any student athlete prioritize as I’m able to ask any of my professors for extensions on assignments and they’ll always do what they can to help. Having that is a huge advantage. I have also been fortunate to be able to complete several travel courses during my two years of college. These travel courses have taken me to Dominica, Ireland and Belize for two and a half weeks each during my Christmas and summer vacations. Additionally, I’m preparing to spend a semester abroad in Paris next year with a teammate that shares the same double major! This summer I’m lucky enough to have an amazing internship! I have been able to help my long-term goal of law school by interning for a judge and will receive credit for my internship at uni. I can’t believe I found the perfect mix of volleyball and education.
I’ve attached some pictures from my first two years at uni. The majority are volleyball related or from matches meanwhile others are from my travels I’ve been able to do through school. I can’t express enough how much I love my school and can’t wait to be back this august! I’m so thankful for how well my college experience has gone so far and all the coaches and teachers that have helped me get here.