Welcome to collegiate athletics, freshmen

Freshman outside hitter Makala Swart stands at the ready during a home game.

Freshman outside hitter Makala Swart stands at the ready during a home game.

Courtesy of CWU Athletics

Courtesy of CWU Athletics

Freshman outside hitter Makala Swart stands at the ready during a home game.

Anna Eyears, Staff Reporter

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Courtesy of CWU Athletics
Freshman outside hitter Makala Swart stands at the ready during a home game.

Every year the CWU athletics department hands out a select number of scholarships to promising young athletes. For many high school graduates these scholarships signify all the hard work they’ve put in.

The volleyball signing class of 2017 have been training hard to make 2017-18 the best season yet. For many freshmen this is the first time they will get to compete against teams from across the nation.

The collegiate recruiting process sees athletes who send in highlight films that provide their prospective coaches with a sense of their gameplay and training. Freshman middle blocker Kylee Yamashita said her recruiting process was exciting and relatively easy.

“Being that I was from Hawaii, Mario [Andaya] and Chloe [Solum] really made a point to reach out to me and make sure that I had all the information in order to get recruited at Central,” Yamashita said.

Yamashita said she was looking forward to getting better as a volleyball player and being able to compete against high-caliber players from across the nation.

“Being surrounded by great volleyball players has definitely improved my gameplay,” Yamashita said. “I feel like I’ve gained a lot more experience training with girls that play at a higher level.”

Many athletes move to a more demanding schedule once they commence their college sport. Freshman setter and defensive specialist Sarah Absalonson said the transition into collegiate volleyball was a huge adjustment.

“It can be difficult being a freshman on the team,” Absalonson said. “You’ve got school and then you’re also away from home for the first time. I’ve always had volleyball in my life, but I’ve never done it every day for three hours a day.”

Absalonson said she enjoyed the structure and commitment being a part of the CWU volleyball team gave her.

“It’s a real commitment, but it’s nice to have that immediate group of friends and support going into college,” Absalonson said. “It’s also great having an automatic activity outside of school that you can have fun with and rely on. All of the girls… are great role models and great girls on and off the court.”

Freshman defensive specialist and libero Robin Meador said she felt she had improved immensely since joining the CWU volleyball team.

“I’ve learnt to put it all out there every practice,” Meador said. “You won’t get what you want out of it if you’re not giving it your all. People take college sports way more seriously because there are scholarships on the line.”

Meador credited her team’s passion and committed attitude for making her a better person.  

“The competitiveness definitely keeps me focused and always wanting better for myself and everyone around me, too,” Meador said.

Committing to a college sport is a difficult task that requires both stamina and determination. For those athletes that choose to do so, however, the experience can bring about some of a college student’s best memories.

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Welcome to collegiate athletics, freshmen