Isabel Tarnutzer ‘21: Throughout the last 6 months, an abundance of uncertainty filled the air around everyone. Change became seemingly the only constant. This remains especially true for athletes. When Michigan shut down in early March, many sports stopped in the middle of their season, without certainty that they would ever return to that sport again. The uncertainty proved especially difficult for athletes interested in playing their sport in college. The inability to play or know when their season would resume made it very hard for prospective college athletes to pursue college coaches or simply get game footage. It seemed as thought the recruiting process slowed to a standstill. 

Despite all the unknowns and obstacles, volleyball player Alyssa Olley ‘21 did not allow COVID-19 to stand in her way of playing volleyball in college.

“The recruitment process can be hard and there was a time I thought I wasn’t going to continue to pursue a chance to play in college but someone convinced me otherwise. I am very thankful for them…” Olley said.  

Olley continued to upload footage, pursue coaches, and train despite being confined to her house. As a result of her hard work and dedication to the sport, Olley attracted interest from numerous different colleges, and decided to commit to playing volleyball at Albion College. 

“I took a visit and met with the coaches. I really love the campus and I knew I would fit in well with the volleyball environment. They also offer what I want to study,” Olley said in regards to why she chose Albion.  

In addition, Olley also maintains a sharp focus on academics. Knowing the career she wants to pursue helped Olley to narrow down which college fit her situation. 

“First and foremost, you are in college to get a degree, so make sure they have your interest. Take a visit, make sure the campus is a place you can see yourself at because it will become your home for the next four years,” Olley said.

Regardless of all the struggles and obstacles in her way, Olley continued to work towards her goal and dream of becoming a collegiate athlete.  With a great work ethic, keen understanding of her goals for the future and clear love for the sport, Olley continues to travel down the path to a bright future.

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