"It Can Be Done..."
My Father's favorite quote that was repeatedly ingrained into me through this whole journey. This never meant it was easy and I've hit roadblocks in every step I've taken towards my beach volleyball goals, but if I never give up then I know "it can be done!"
My volleyball career started in Middle School, in anticipation for tryouts I took a week of indoor volleyball camps. I fell in love with the sport instantaneously. When try outs came around, my first year in school, we all tried out for the Middle School team. After the second round of cuts I found out that I would be the only girl in 6th grade NOT make the team. At the time I could only see this as a major set back, but looking back now, that is where my development is rooted in. Instead of going to the Middle School practice, I got a coach who was trying to start a club. I went everyday to individual practices and got one-on-one training to develop my base in volleyball.
Beach volleyball wasn't in the picture until I met my high school coach, Robin Mignery. I was a setter indoor, so of course all I wanted to do was hit. So when she offered beach practices I knew this was my opportunity to do it all! On my team, I was taller and blonde and my friend, Caitlin, was shorter and brunette, so growing up watching our idols, we always said we’d be the next Kerri and Misty. Here I am still chasing that goal!!
At this point, there wasn’t a big opportunity for beach volleyball in college so I was still focused to on my indoor career, working to be invited to HP and USA camps. I thought in the best case scenario I would play both indoor and beach. That all changed when Coach Robin invited me to a camp at FSU. Here they were seeing athletes to be recruited to play only beach. At the end of this weekend camp the coach came up to me and offered me a spot on the team. As a sophomore in high school I sprung at the opportunity. I knew that California was the spot for Beach volleyball and started to reach out to schools like UCLA, Stanford and others including Pepperdine. Pepperdine was the only school that responded and said they’d watch me. That summer of my sophomore year changed the course of my life!! I tried out for the USA program and made the A1 team with training every day of the week with Barbra Fontana and Jon Aharoni! Shortly after that I committed to Pepperdine and dedicated to getting better, I left my high school in Florida during my junior year, with my teacher’s and Principal’s approval, and went to California not knowing I wouldn’t be back next year.
I ended up finishing high school early and going into Pepperdine early in the Spring to play my first season as a Wave! The Wave’s had just won a National Championship and many of the girls were 5th year seniors. I worked my way up and in 2016 won 3 in a row pair of the month awards! In 2017 I was named an All-American and NCAA Pair of the Tournament award as well as a team National Championship’s Runner-up. 2018 brought more than I could ever ask for; being named Player of the Year, All-American, All-First Team, and All-Academic! Pepperdine lead by an amazing coaching staff gave me a great foundation for the professional environment. Alongside my Collegiate career, I started playing internationally, in 2016 going to Cuba and earning a 5th place in a NORCECA tournament. In 2017 going to Dominican Republic to earn a 3rd as well as China for USA to garner a 2nd place finish!
My journey with Beach Volleyball is still just beginning, and earning my best finish with a 5th place in the AVP Manhattan Beach Open in my first year out of college is just the start!
Along with Graduating Pepperdine with a Degree in Business Administration, I was recognized on the Dean's List three times for semesters with a 3.98, 4.0 and 4.0 my junior and senior year!