Deciding on a college can be very difficult - it was for me.
Some high school players are so good that they can go to any
college they desire. Others (most) are just thankful to get an
inquiry from a volleyball school.
Next year Kenzie will be a...
You can visit Kenzie's
College Volleyball site.
Some players have the goal to get to the best and highest ranked
athletic program they can, while others try and leverage their
athletic talents into the best academic school possible.
Here is how my decision-making process went...
Ever since I was very young, during grade school, my parents
always told me that I can do whatever I want in life, be an
artist, a businesswoman, a surfer or whatever, after I complete
graduate school. I was told that so much, and the rationale
behind it, so often that it makes sense and that is what I am
going to do.
I was good enough to be named all-league and all CIF Division
||| in San Diego County as a junior. Then as a senior I was
all-league and all CIF Division ||| again, plus I made two first
team all CIF all San Diego County teams as well. I attracted
about 50-60 inquiries from the end of my junior year until now.
There were contacts from Division I, II and III as well as from
NAIA volleyball programs. While I would consider a bigger
"state" school, I really thought I would feel more comfortable
at a smaller school with less than 5,000 students. I just wanted
to have that intimate setting for my college experience.
I had quite a few small college coaches from the East Coast and
Midwest that saw my online volleyball videos on this site. Some
wrote and told me, solely based on the video, that they would a)
offer me a scholarship and/or b) that I would start immediately
as their setter. It was all very flattering, but, for me, it was
just too far away from home, and I knew that I wouldn't be able
to deal with the cold weather. (I know that is a bit wimpy, but
winters here are 60 degrees and summers are 70 degrees.)
Growing up in a beach community of North San Diego County is
hard to beat. I confirmed that when I played at the JO
tournaments in Atlanta in the summer and then again when I was
on the Southern California Volleyball Association's High
Performance team playing a week in Florida last summer. I also
visited my grandparents near Seattle,
plus other family vacations. I know it is not very weather
tolerant to say that I wanted to stay and play in Southern
California - but I did.
I wasn't good enough for a USC, UCLA or a Pepperdine school, so
I focused on the many high quality academic DIII schools in
SoCal. These schools also required SAT scores in the 2000+
range, so not only did you have to be a good enough player to be
considered, but you had to pass through the admissions office as
well. Definitely an added degree of difficulty.
I ended up choosing Pomona-Pitzer. Essentially there are five
colleges on one campus (Claremont, Scripps, Harvey Mudd, Pomona
and Pitzer) so it had a number of positive factors for me. I had
visited the Pomona-Pitzer school and was impressed with the
small classes of the 10-15 students, no teaching assistants, the
facilities and the fact it was just 70 miles from my home in San
Diego. I applied for
early decision and was accepted in December. I have had several
club coaches say that I should have gone DI and left California
to do so, but, for me, I just wasn't ready.
I know that for graduate school I will go a different part of
the country for that experience, so I can always explore those
Go somewhere where you'll be happy. Volleyball is only one
season, and you need to make sure you'll be happy with where you
decide to go.