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A Two Sport Star
Allison Olley spikes, shoots, and studies her way through her senior year.
Adrenaline pumps. Allison Olley crouches in position on the volleyball court in UMD’s Romano Gym. Every time UMD makes a point or a save, the crowd roars. The fans scream. Allison waits for the serve. “I feel a calmness, like everyone there has my back,” she says. All in one moment, she feels the support of the audience and pride in knowing the power and camaraderie of her teammates has brought the community together.
VOLLEYBALL IS LIFE
Volleyball has been part of Allison’s life since middle school, but it wasn’t until her junior year of high school that she developed the seriousness about the sport that she plays today.
Volleyball brought her from her home town of Racine, Wis. to UMD. She received the Lynn M. Morris Volleyball scholarship for her hard work and dedication to the sport. “I have to give my best when I play, I’m representing the school in more than one way,” Allison says.
The sport is demanding, but she loves it. “The support I get from everyone at the school is overwhelming,” Allison says.
Before the season starts, she and the team spend two weeks in an immense effort to prepare for the season. “It’s hard work. It makes me feel like a professional volleyball player.”
She’ll graduate in spring 2018 with a secondary math education degree under her belt and knows she’ll enjoy teaching. She’s worked at the UMD summer camp for three summers, and she has worked with enough children to know coaching is also in her future. “I’m excited to teach kids that hard work and teamwork are important to a sport,” she says.
Allison and her volleyball team do a lot of volunteering when they are not playing on the court. They go into school classrooms and teach reading. They play with children in after school programs, and they visit senior citizens. “I enjoy helping people in any way that I can,” she says. “For me, it’s about making a difference.”
GIVING TO UMD
This year, Allison will be the vice-president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), a group that helps provide insight on the student-athlete experience. They also offer input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect the lives of student-athletes on campus. “College sports are always changing,” she says. “It’s interesting to see how UMD fits into the national picture.”
Apparently, volleyball, volunteering, and academics aren’t enough for Allison to balance. This winter, Allison looks forward to another UMD intercollegiate sport, basketball.
Being a senior this year is hard for Allison. “I tell my family to not remind me; I don’t want it to end.”