Senior Rosalie McGuirk began playing volleyball three years ago, but her drive to continue playing started her sophomore year.
Rosalie McGuirk reflected on her first time playing volleyball. “I started volleyball my freshman year. I didn’t have a real inspiration. I just knew that I wanted to play a fall sport to meet people going into my first year of high school, and my mom told me that I should try out for volleyball because of my height.”
Rosalie was on the women’s JV team for her first year playing, but with a lot of hard work and dedication, she was a sophomore on the varsity team. However, Rosalie didn’t have a lot of playing time her first year. She said, “Freshman year, I hardly got playing time at all, even on JV. Sophomore year I made varsity, only because the entire team graduated the past year, and I rode the bench again.”
She didn’t get discouraged, though, and decided to play club. She said, “I decided to play club for the first time during my sophomore year because I really wanted to get better, and I realized that I loved the sport.” She has been playing club volleyball for the past two years and plans to play this winter as well.
She said the only challenge she faced while playing volleyball was riding the bench freshman and sophomore year. Then COVID hit, and that was also a big hurdle for athletes. Rosalie dealt with this drawback. She said, “Quarantine cut my season off, but I dedicated my free time to improving my vertical, arm swing, and jump serve, and the work that I put in really helped me to succeed as an upperclassman.”
She already has plans for playing in the future. She said, “I will definitely try to play volleyball in college, but I am not completely sure whether I will play varsity or club/intramural.”
At the moment, Rosalie is torn between playing varsity in college or club. She commented, “I would really only play varsity for a less competitive conference since the only schools I am applying to are D1, but if I go to a larger more competitive school I would play club instead.”
College-wise, Rosalie has applied to Montana State, Nebraska, Kansas State, Texas A&M, and Virginia Tech.
Besides cutting her season short and giving her less playing time, COVID interfered with Rosalie’s chance to get a spot on a team for college. “Recruiting has been extremely difficult for volleyball because coaches have not been able to scout at tournaments because of COVID, so I may have to end up walking on if I decide to play varsity.”
However, whatever obstacles come in her way, Rosalie continues to push through and develop a deeper passion every time she hits the court.
In her free time, Rosalie helps her dad on their farm. “We have crops and livestock, so we are busy mostly all year round, but I really enjoy the work, so I don’t mind being so busy.”
Senior Gabby Spencer is a setter on the varsity team. She said, “I love playing with Rosalie. I love playing with her because she always has a ton of team spirit and gives great advice to her teammates.”
Rosalie has this advice for players: “to focus on mindset. I am very proud of my improvement as a player, and my mindset was the only reason I could do it. If you want to become better, do the work and don’t get discouraged. You should always be striving to improve, and no matter what, there is always something you can work on to be better.”