Olivia Commits to Purdue!

Date Posted: 10/1/2015

Q:  "Can you tell us about your recruiting process to provide some insight for our younger players?"

A:  "I actually started my recruiting process a little bit late compared to others on my team.  During my Junior year at Loyola Academy, we had a fantastic season finishing fourth in State in the 4A Division.  It is mainly because of that experience that I decided I want to continue playing volleyball at a higher level.  My passion and love for this game continues to grow and I wanted to participate in a top Division One program.  I gave up playing basketball to focus on volleyball.  I started looking at schools and putting together film clips in preparation for sending out to lots of different schools throughout the country.  I started with a long list and narrowed over the course of the past 12 months down to a very small and select list. Throughout the club season, I continued to email coaches before every tournament and then after, sending short film clips to all.  The most difficult part was picking up the phone and calling the coaches.  After the first few, I felt more comfortable in continuing to contact them.  I firmly believe that because of all of these steps, continuing emails and follow-up phone calls that I had success in my recruiting process.  Coaches commented on letters received and music on select highlight films. It's important to be persistent."

Q:  "How has Wildcat Jrs. prepared or helped you through the college recruiting process?"

A:  "Wildcat Juniors has helped me in many ways.  Most importantly, it has made me a stronger well rounded player.  All of the coaching staff have played at a high level and they know what it takes.  The comments, encouragement and training provided me a good background in terms of proceeding in the recruiting process.  Wildcats allowed me to get a lot of exposure to several colleges.  The Coaches explained the difference of the various divisions of volleyball and what the commitment levels would be like.  It's nice to be able to talk to people who have been through it and give you an honest feeling of expectations."

Q:  "Is there any advice you would give our younger Wildcat Jrs. players that want to pursue playing volleyball in college?"

A:  "Start early in the process; it's never too early.  I created a list of schools all over the country (some I never heard of) and narrowed it down.  Visit and do camps when possible so you get to know the coaches, they get to know you an you get a feel of the teammates and coaches.  Be prepared for hard work for Division One.  Different levels have different commitment levels.

The biggest things in the recruiting process are to stay positive, stay focused and to DREAM BIG.  It was through hard work and dedication that allowed me to succeed with many very good opportunities and ultimately selecting Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana as my choice.  I had the opportunity to look at schools on the West Coast, East Coast, South and Midwest.  I ultimately decided that I wanted to stay in the Midwest.  In meeting with the coaches at many different schools, I felt most comfortable with the coaches that were really interested in me as I approached the end of the selection process.

Additional important parts of the process are being able to communicate, believing in yourself and going for it.  It is also important to know that the college coaches know that you may be nervous, may be a little unsure of the process and most are open to assisting and being open about the current status of their team and what they are looking for.  Also remember that things change.  A coach may change, a player may get hurt, a player may decide to transfer, etc.  These are all part of the equation.  Don't take anything for granted.  Even when "no" may be their first response, continue pushing  on.  Continue to play at a high level because coaches are looking for aggressive people with good work ethic.

In summary, work hard, believe in yourself and dream big!  Be open to all of your options.  Keep the emails going.  Never give up or get discouraged.  It all works out!  It's never too early to start (or late).  Put yourself on their radar.  

I am blessed to have had many great offers.  I am so fortunate to be playing for a Big Ten team who is currently ranked 18.  The coaches and my future teammates are amazing."