ALI DENNY – University of South Carolina

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Being a division 1 volleyball player takes time, passion, effort, and focus, but, if volleyball is your passion then it's all fun and worth it. To be a division 1 player, the first step is to make a list of schools that you think would fit you. Don't make a decision on a school because you just love the coach or your friend is going there too. Make the decision because you love the school itself too. There's a school for everyone and the right one will find you. Another thing to keep in mind is most of the growing we do happens between your junior and senior years of high school so don't rush the decision because you want to say you're committed! I didn't commit until the end of summer going into my senior year of high school! And so much changed for me since that summer so be patient. 

Remember, you're going to school to be a STUDENT athlete. Your grades matter! That's something I didn't realize until it was almost too late. Get into good study habits early is so important because it will come with you to college and college academics is a whole different ball game. But if you know how to study and what methods work for you, it can be easy and fun because you will be learning and taking classes that you want to take. 

Time management can make or break you. The NCAA has requirements and so do the schools themselves and some are different than others. The NCAA requires athletes to have a 2.0 average however some coaches require a 3.0. 

College athletics is an intimidating passion! But it's so much fun and so worth every bit of sweat, tears, and time. I love being a college athlete and playing volleyball against the best competition in the country! 

Remember that coaches look at you as more than just a volleyball player. They want to know that you will represent their programs in a positive way and that you can get along with the team and teammates. 

Be the team's number one fan and everything else will fall into place. 

- Ali Denny