Lone senior says this is the best team yet

Nate Stuart


Credit: Jason Hall

Senior volleyball player Sarah Wilber’s typical day is not like that of the average Kent State student.

She works at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center from 5:45 a.m. to noon. After that she heads to the M.A.C. Center to prepare for practice. The volleyball team practices 3-6 p.m., but she said it usually requires the athletes to be there from 2-7 p.m. so they can train, stretch and work out injuries.

After practice they have to clean up and then they head home. Wilber said sometimes the athletes will hang out and go get something to eat. Other times they go home to do homework because it is the only time they have to do it.

Wilber said that student-athletes have selected times to do their work, unlike most students. Because of this, she said she has developed good study habits and tends to get better grades during the season.

When Wilber was an underclassman she would have classes the first half of the day and then go straight to practice afterward. She recalled times when her classes went until 3 p.m. and she would literally have to run to get to practice on time.

This semester she is taking 12 credit hours, so on days that she has class she follows the same schedule. She now holds a 3.9 GPA.

Wilber said that when she graduates her days playing volleyball on a hardwood court are over. That doesn’t mean she will be done playing volleyball however, she plans to compete in beach volleyball. Her current partner is Jessica Gromes, who is a senior setter for Muskingum College.

Most of Kent State’s team plays sand volleyball. Playing in the sand has helped her and the other players be more agile on the court and become better overall players, she said. Wilber’s goal is to play for the Association of Volleyball Professionals.

Wilber has also developed a passion for helping children. Her major is human development and family studies. Her dream job is to be a child-life specialist, which involves helping children in hospitals stay comfortable and understand what is going on while they are there.

Wilber said she is excited about the volleyball team this year.

“This season has been the best experience of my college career,” Wilber said.

This year’s team has better chemistry than any other team she said she has played with.

“Our drive, our chemistry and our strength is what’ll make the team fly,” Wilber said.

Even though she is the only senior on the team, she shares the leadership responsibilities with the juniors.

“It’s fun (being the only senior on the team) because you know the whole team looks up to you,” Wilber said. “You would think there is extreme pressure on me but there isn’t. I just try to help as much as I can.”

Kent State volleyball coach Mora Kanim said Wilber keeps the squad cohesive.

“Sarah does a good job of making sure we’re a team,” Kanim said. “She’s not playing the senior card, she is a really important part of the team.”


Aug. 25 – Memphis, L 3-0

Aug. 26 – Austin Peayat Evansville, W 3-0

Evansville University, W 3-2

Sept. 1 – Delaware (@ Green Bay, Wisc.)

Sept. 2 – Drake (@ Green Bay)

@ University of Wisconsin

Sept. 8 – Murray State (KSU Invitational)

Sept. 9 – NC State (KSU Invitational)

Chicago State (KSU Invitational)

Sept. 15 – Western California

(@ Cullowhee, N.C.)

Sept. 15 – Kennesaw (@ Cullowhee)

Sept. 16 – High Point (@ Cullowhee)

Sept. 21 – @ Akron

Sept. 22 – @ Buffalo

Sept. 28 – @ Ohio

Sept. 30 – Central Michigan

Oct. 6 – @ Toledo

Oct. 7 – @ Ball State

Oct. 12 – Buffalo

Oct. 13 – Akron

Oct. 20 – Northern Illinois

Oct. 27 – @ Miami

Oct. 28 – @ Bowling Green

Nov. 3 – Ohio

Nov. 4 – @ Eastern Michigan

Nov. 10 – Bowling Green

Nov. 11 – Miami

Nov. 14 – MAC Tournament begins