My name is Natalie Villalon and I am a Setter/OPP/OH for the class of 2024. I have played volleyball for 3 years, and I love it more every year. Previous to this I was a competitive gymnast for over 7 years. However, the day I tried volleyball, I discovered my true calling. When I step into the gym, I am not only trying to make myself better but also contribute to my team’s success. I am a well-rounded indoor volleyball player and enjoy playing beach volleyball as well.
As a new recruit, I feel that I bring something different to the table. As a competitive gymnast when you perform a routine, you have to remain focused and calm because any small error will hurt your final score and that can be the difference between 1st and last place. When I transferred to volleyball, I was able to use this gymnastics training which enabled me to remain calm during intense plays in high level tournaments. This also gave me the ability to move on quickly to the next play mentally as in gymnastics you cannot dwell on past errors. You need to keep your mind clear and envision your potential outcome.
These past three years in volleyball have taught me so much. It has taught me to trust my instincts, channel my adrenaline, and most importantly teamwork. In my previous sport, you focused more on what to do to make yourself better. However, in volleyball, it is all about teamwork. Every member of the team has an integral role to play in order to make that team successful. I enjoy that feeling of all of us working together for a common goal and pushing each other to be better and stronger.
My collegiate goal is to attend a university where I can focus on both furthering my academics in Engineering/Architecture as well as playing volleyball at a higher level.